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Adolescent Health at Lehigh Valley Health Network

Center for Adolescent Health

Lehigh Valley Health Network's adolescent medicine specialists are physicians who completed fellowship training in adolescent medicine to address the physical, psychological and emotional issues teens encounter. They recognize teens have concerns that are different from children and older adults. They provide specialty care for males and females between the ages of 12 and 25. Our team that cares for teens also includes behavioral health specialist, gynecologist, dietitian, nurses and medical assistants. 

Conditions we treat

Our adolescent medicine physicians assess and provide treatment for issues adolescents and young adults experience such as acne, menstrual problems, contraception, chronic pain, fatigue, headaches, unexplained physical symptoms, fibromyalgia, pubertal delay and chronic fatigue, and provide education about many issues that teens and young adults face. Our physicians and therapist evaluate and manage non-emergent behavioral health concerns, including anxiety and depression, as well as provide guidance with regard to issues of adjustment, transition, school difficulties and family conflict.

Holistic care

Our adolescent medicine physicians and therapist understand the importance of understaing the entire context in which physical or emotional symptoms occur and use a holistic approach in the care of the young person. Parents are encouraged to be involved in the care and treatment of their children; however, we also speak with teens alone to allow them to have an opportunity to speak priviately with the provider and to obtain their perspective of the concerns.  By doing this we hope to foster in the teen a greater sense of responsibility for his or her health care and decision-making. Young adults 18 years of age and older may come to visits unaccompanied and make decisions about their care independently.

Other services

We welcome calls and inquiries from referring physicians about available resources to assist with adolescent issues. Our physicians provide assessment, evaluation and treatment recommendations and coordinate care with referring physicians and specialists. In addition, our team advocates on behalf of adolescent patients and their families and frequently works collaboratively with their schools to support their medical needs in the academic environment.

Child/adolescent psychiatry

For some young people, life becomes overwhelming. It may be because of an underlying emotional illness such as depression, or it may be the child’s individual reaction to stress.

Lehigh Valley Health Network’s pediatric behavioral health team includes board-certified pediatric and adolescent psychiatrists, licensed doctoral-level psychologists, licensed psychiatric social workers and a host of other mental health specialists. 

Our specialists carefully evaluate each young patient’s physical health, mental health, and social and educational history.  We then customize each patient’s treatment. Modalities include:

  • Individual therapy to develop personal, practical coping skills
  • Group therapy focusing on issues such as problem-solving, anger management, communication and education about the young person’s own condition
  • Family therapy to begin exploring family dynamics, to promote parents’ involvement in the care of their child and to help enhance their own coping stratigies
  • Educational services from a certified teacher who works closely with the young person’s own school
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation services for recreation, self-esteem building, creative expression and stress relief

Medication also plays a valuable role for many of our patients.  Families always are informed why a certain medication might be needed at this point in their child’s life.

Lehigh Valley Health Network offers a range of inpatient, “partial hospital” and outpatient services to help care for children in need.

Adolescent inpatient program  

The adolescent inpatient program provides a safe, secure, caring environment for adolescents in crisis where their condition can be stabilized and they can be protected from harming themselves.

Located in the Behavioral Health Science Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg, our 13-bed unit is bright, cheerful and specially designed to make adolescents feel at home. At the same time, we are equipped to protect and care for adolescents with a serious mental health crisis.

First, we carefully evaluate the young person’s physical health, mental health, and social and educational history. Then we customize the young person’s treatment. It may include:

  • Individual therapy to develop personal, practical coping skills
  • Group therapy to share feedback with peers and begin practicing these new skills
  • Family therapy to promote parents’ involvement in care
  • Educational services from a certified teacher who works closely with the young person’s own school
  • Rehabilitation services to help our patients stay fit, enjoy recreation, build their self-esteem, express their creativity and manage stress

Medication also plays a valuable role for most of our patients.
Typically a young person is here for seven to 10 days, until he or she is able to function successfully in a partial hospital program or an individual outpatient treatment program.

Adolescent Transitions
Adolescent Transitions is designed for young people making the shift out of the hospital, or for those who don’t need an overnight hospital program but still need very structured care. Teens are typically in the program about two weeks. After leaving our program, many children go into school-based programs or outpatient counseling for the final phase of treatment.

Young people attend Transitions every weekday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and return home overnight. As they test their new coping skills with family and friends, Transitions acts as a safety net to help them through the process. Treatment includes:

  • Group therapy focusing on issues such as problem solving, anger management, communication and education about the young person’s own condition. Group therapy is the foundation of our program because adolescents often learn best with their peers.
  • Individual therapy to help the young person develop personal, practical coping skills
  • Family therapy to begin exploring family dynamics, to promote parents’ involvement in the care of their child, and to help enhance their own coping strategies
  • Education (two or more hours daily) from a certified teacher who works closely with the young person’s own school to keep him as current as possible
  • Rehabilitation services for recreation, esteem-building, creative expression and stress relief

Medication also plays a valuable role for many of our patients. Families always are informed why a certain medication might be needed at this point in the teen’s life.

Adolescent Transitions, a service of Lehigh Valley Hospital, is located at 1255 S. Cedar Crest Blvd., Suite 1500, near Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest.

Outpatient care
For children who do not need daily intensive treatment, the health network has a number of highly qualified psychiatrists and other behavioral health professionals who specialize in the care of young people.

For example, two of our larger outpatient programs, Behavioral Health (located at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg in Bethlehem, Pa.) and LVPG Adult and Pediatric Psychiatry-1259 Cedar Crest, each have a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, and a variety of therapists to care for the special needs of children and teens.

How You Can Help Our Mission How You Can Help Our Mission

This is a non-profit organization. Please consider donating to help heal, comfort and care.

Learn more »