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Cardinal Glennon / Services & Programs / Pediatric Gastroenterology / Glennon Intestinal Rehabilitation & Feeding Team

Glennon Intestinal Rehabilitation and Feeding (GIRAF) Team

The Glennon Intestinal Rehabilitation and Feeding (GIRAF) team at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, the only formal intestinal rehabilitation program in the Midwest, provides individualized treatment for children with complex cases of intestinal failure.

What is Intestinal Failure?

Our team of SLUCare neonatologists, surgeons, gastroenterologists, nurses and specialists are uniquely trained and experienced to help children with intestinal failure, which happens when there is less than the normal amount of bowel or when the intestine does not adequately digest and absorb nutrients and fluids. Children with intestinal failure can experience diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, failure to thrive, feeding problems, and a multitude of chronic illnesses.

By guiding these young patients on the journey to intestinal rehabilitation, the GIRAF team strives for patients to be able to digest, and absorb nutrients, water, and electrolytes.

The GIRAF team provides ongoing, collaborative care in one place throughout a child’s development. Our team recognizes that every child is different and requires an individualized treatment plan to meet their needs and have the best possible outcome. Your child will benefit from a customized, long-term plan to treat intestinal failure and its associated symptoms and conditions.

The GIRAF Difference

The GIRAF team takes a unique, family-centered approach to treating children with intestinal failure, providing access to a multidisciplinary team including specialized physicians, dieticians, advanced practice nurses, registered nurses, a social worker and a pharmacist. Specialty programs include skin and wound care, as well as dental care.

One of the most important aspects of the intestinal rehab journey is nutrition. A dietician will be regularly involved in your child’s care. Understanding the individual needs of each child’s nutritional status and maintaining growth and development is a high priority throughout the intestinal rehab journey.

To take some of the stress out of treatment, the GIRAF team offers concierge-level service, handling the logistics of appointments for parents and families. If your child needs to undergo testing and see multiple physicians, a coordinator will work to try to schedule the visits on the same day, all under one roof.

Ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the best hospitals for pediatric gastroenterology, gastrointestinal surgery, and neonatology, SSM Health Cardinal Glennon has the expertise to handle the most challenging cases of intestinal failure, that may have resulted from:

The goal for all children experiencing intestinal failure is to achieve enteral autonomy, which is the ability to absorb all nutrients and fluids in the digestive tract.

Coordinated, Expert Care

Along with your child’s primary health care providers, the GIRAF team will develop individualized treatment plans for your child’s specific needs. These plans are tailored to meet patients’ needs and improve outcomes with a decline in the time on total parenteral nutrition (iv feeding).

Every week, members of the GIRAF care team meet to discuss each patient’s progress, review lab results, and determine potential changes in the plan of care. Following these meetings, the team will be in contact with you to discuss how your child is doing. And to expedite communication with chronic patients dealing with intestinal failure at home, team members use Epharmix, a HIPAA-compliant app that allows caregivers to answer questions about their child’s health.

The GIRAF team prides itself on prompt care and making treatment convenient for patients and their families. Our goal is to be accessible to our patients and families providing professional family centered care.

At SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, families of children with intestinal failure will have access to:

  • National leaders in gastrointestinal surgery and neonatology.
  • The only comprehensive intestinal rehabilitation program in the region.
  • State-of-the-art facilities.
  • A dedicated care team that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Access to experienced clinical staff, along with a registered dietitian and social worker, for follow-up treatment after discharge.

If your child is facing diagnosis of intestinal failure, you’re not alone. The GIRAF team at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Hospital is here to provide compassionate care and handle even the most complex cases.

We’re available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, please call us at 314-577-5647 or email the GIRAF Team. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

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