Cultivating Impactful Pediatric Neurology Services in Charlotte
Sasidharan Taravath, MD, is working hard to ensure neurology services will always be sufficient to meet community needs.
If you want to build a good program in healthcare, the first thing you need to do is find a good person to get things up and running. This is what Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital administrators did when they decided to expand pediatric neurology services in 2021.
They reached out to Sasidharan Taravath, MD, in Wilmington, North Carolina, who – fortunately – was ready, willing and able to move to Charlotte. At the time, Dr. Taravath was a practicing neurologist at Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center, where he’d earned a solid reputation working with medical students from the UNC School of Medicine.
UNC students did regular rotations at New Hanover Regional Medical Center to become familiar with various medical specialties. Dr. Taravath was proud to mentor students who ended up specializing in neurology. He also taught family practice residents how to make appropriate referrals.
“Our goal with these students,” he said, “was not to make them experts in neurology. It was to make them smart enough to ask the right person the right question at the right time. The most important function of medical education is to help up-and-coming professionals know what they don’t know.”
Dr. Taravath’s background includes a medical degree from the Armed Forces Medical College of India, followed by a residency at the University of Chicago. He began practicing medicine in Charleston, West Virginia, and moved to Wilmington before being recruited to Hemby Children’s Hospital.
His program serves patients who have developmental or movement disorders, headaches, or metabolic or genetic disorders affecting the central nervous system. Other neurological conditions include sleep disorders, seizures and Tourette syndrome.
Dr. Taravath is working hard to ensure neurology services will always be sufficient to meet community needs. He’s delighted to be in Charlotte and likes working in a hospital that’s part of a larger, more comprehensive facility. “The staff can share resources in a way that really enhances efficiency,” he said.
Dr. Taravath has always cultivated a loyal following among patients and tells the story of a patient he once treated in West Virginia for Tourette syndrome. Later, the patient’s son developed the same condition. Convinced no other neurologist could provide the same level of care, the man tracked down Dr. Taravath in North Carolina and brought his son to Charlotte for treatment.
The working atmosphere at Hemby Children’s Hospital, Dr. Taravath said, has been a real bonus for him and his team members. “A lot of people comment about the collegiality here,” he said, “and those comments are true.”
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