By Rosalinda Torres

Brandon Regional Hospital, an HCA West Florida hospital, expanded its pediatric program and collaboration with All Children’s Specialty Physicians, adding two pediatric general surgeons to its medical staff. All Children’s Specialty Physicians Dr. Drew Rideout and Dr. Henry Chang will help provide 24 hour access to pediatric surgical care, as well as bring the highest-level of pediatric surgical expertise closer to home for children in the Brandon area.

This recent collaboration adds to the already established relationship with All Children’s Specialty Physicians. Since 2014, neonatologists and maternal-fetal medicine physicians with All Children’s Specialty Physicians have provided specialized care to high-risk mothers and infants at Brandon Regional Hospital.

Pediatric general surgeons provide surgical care for all problems and conditions affecting children including thoracic and abdominal surgery, surgery for abnormalities in the groin, surgical repair of birth defects, thoracic surgery and vascular surgery. Additionally, Dr. Rideout and Dr. Chang have advanced training in laparoscopic surgery, also called minimally invasive surgery, in which operations are performed through small incisions in the body.

The training for pediatric surgeons is one of the lengthiest in the U.S. medical system. The typical pediatric surgeon undergoes nine years of training after medical school and has passed two certifications administered by the American Board of Surgery, one in general surgery and one in pediatric surgery. There are fewer than 800 pediatric general surgeons practicing in the United States and Canada.

“Our youngest patients and their families have benefited from the expertise of All Children’s Specialty Physicians for more than a year now, and Brandon Regional Hospital is honored to welcome Dr. Chang and Dr. Rideout to this high-caliber team,” said Bland Eng, CEO of Brandon Regional Hospital.

“Our physicians are committed to providing the highest level of care to infants and children and this added collaboration with Brandon Regional Hospital will now allow us to bring expert pediatric surgical care closer to home for families in the Brandon area and beyond,” said Paul Colombani, M.D., president of All Children’s Specialty Physicians and chair of the Department of Surgery at All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine in St. Petersburg.

Brandon Regional Hospital is also adding a dedicated pediatric ER entrance as part of its emergency room expansion project, with construction slated for completion in 2017.