Dr. Silva Interview
By Cori Galles
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Carrie Tingley Hospital’s Medical Director, Dr. Selina Silva. We spent some time talking about her role at Carrie Tingley and some of the unique benefits that families receive when their children become patients at Carrie Tingley Hospital.
Can you tell me about your role at Carrie Tingley Hospital?
Dr. Silva: I am a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon, as well as the Medical Director of the Hospital. Basically, I work on muscles and bones and my specialties are more focused on hips and lower extremities. I mostly perform reconstructive type surgeries in Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida and Club Feet.
How long have you been a practitioner at Carrie Tingley Hospital?
Dr. Silva: I have been at the hospital for a total of 10 years. I started my residency at UNM in 2005 and have been an Attending Physician for five years.
What does a typical week look like for you at the Hospital?
Dr. Silva: I am at the hospital Monday-Friday and I typically work from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. I have two full days of clinics (patient evaluation) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thursdays and Fridays are my surgery days and Monday is my administrative day.
Then, once a month I attend outreach clinics. The locations that I am assigned for outreach are Hobbs and Farmington. My orthopedic partners have the other areas.
Tell us more about these Outreach Clinics?
Dr. Silva: Carrie Tingley Hospital Pediatric Orthopedics excels at our Outreach Clinics. We generally will see anywhere from 10-30 people in a clinic.
We do an outreach every week at rotating locations between Farmington, Hobbs, Roswell, Las Cruces and Silver City. We are working very hard to try to expand our clinics to Gallup because there is an enormous need for us in that city. We see patients travel here in large numbers from Gallup and it is my guess that if we did have monthly clinics in Gallup they would be full.
What are the purposes of the Outreach Clinics?
Dr. Silva: The Outreach Clinics are meant to save time for the families, and often times they serve as a screening opportunity. Often times a clinic visit will entail a parent asking us to look at their child’s spine to determine whether or not they have scoliosis and whether or not they need to make the trip down to Albuquerque. Because of the clinics, some patients only need to come to Albuquerque for surgery and they can do their pre and post-operative appointments at the clinics.
In addition to screening, there are a large number of kids who get their bracing or wheelchair adjustments done at the outreach clinics. So, we usually bring orthotist with us and if there is a child with very painful flat feet then we can get them molded right there for some braces. Then, the next time we come up for the clinic, they can do the fitting.
To my knowledge there are not any other Pediatric Orthopedic Hospitals that have extensive, statewide Outreach Programs like Carrie Tingley Hospital.
Can you tell us a little about the role the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation has played in providing services and equipment to the Hospital?
Dr. Silva: The Foundation makes most of what we do possible. We want to offer patients everything they need right here. This alleviates patients and families from having to travel to other hospitals to get pediatric orthopedic care. We offer everything here, and the only way we are able to do that is by having the state of the art equipment and facilities that other large institutions have.
The Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation honestly has purchased the majority of this cutting edge equipment for us. Much of what the Foundation has donated has surrounded around what other large hospitals provide, such as the Dexa-scans, which look at bone density, as well as items to decrease radiation exposure to kids. I would say in the last year the radiation limiting equipment is what we have received the most of from the Foundation. One example, is they provided us with a C Arm, which enables us to pinpoint radiation to one small area. This limits the rest of the body from exposure, which is so important for children.
We are currently in talks with the Foundation about the possible funding of a gait lab. Right now children have to go out of state for any gait lab analysis. With the combined use of videography, a gait lab helps us look at an overall picture of a child’s progress by being able to look at their mobility throughout their treatment. To be able to offer to this service to our patients, many of whom have special needs, would be tremendous.
What sets Carrie Tingley Hospital apart from other hospitals?
Dr. Silva: Carrie Tingley Hospital understands the nuances of working with special needs children, so to be able to offer services in house without sending them outside of the hospital is tremendous.
I get feedback all of the time from people who say “I can’t believe I tried to go somewhere else when Carrie Tingley offers everything our family needs for our child right here”.
If you or someone you know would like to know more about Carrie Tingley Hospital and the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation, please contact us at (505) 243-6626 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.