Division Feature, Child Abuse Pediatrics

The Child Abuse Pediatrics Division (Children’s Advocacy Team or CAT) consists of one board-certified CAP, two nurse practitioners, two nurses and three social workers:

Suzanne Haney, MD, MS, FAAP

Kristi Aldridge, APRN, PNP

Laurie Berglund, MSN, APRN-NP, CPNP-PC, FNP

Amy Jonas, LICSW

Jenna Schaecher, LCSW

Bre Vera, PLMHP, PCMSW

Melissa Coffin, MSN, RN

Trisha Kuntz, RN

The CAT provides a wide range of services relating to child abuse and neglect, beginning with inpatient consultations (child abuse, neglect, failure to thrive, complex social situations, etc.) at Children's Hospital & Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine, and operates an Outpatient CAT Clinic for failure to thrive and physical abuse evaluations.

The team hosts Foster Care Clinics in Omaha and Lincoln to assess children after they enter foster care. This is the newest clinic, which has seen over 250 children since 2018. In January 2020, the CAT expanded from one clinic per week to four, and will be expanding to Lincoln later this year (delayed due to the pandemic).

The CAT liaises with child protection services (CPS) and law enforcement on child abuse reports, ongoing communication and court testimony. In addition, the team has a weekly meeting to discuss cases of suspected child abuse and/or neglect with Children’s continuum and reviews all CPS reports made throughout the enterprise.

Increased risk of child abuse and neglect during the pandemic is top of mind for the CAT. Dr. Haney, in her role as chair of the council on child abuse and neglect with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), has developed a webinar to educate general pediatricians on the increased risk of child abuse and neglect as families spend more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Congratulations to Dr. Haney, who recently (virtually) graduated with a MS of Health Care Ethics from Creighton. In addition, Dr. Haney has also been named to the editorial board of Pediatrics, beginning in July 2020.