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Dr. Cynthia Hoess, Pediatric Primary Care Physician at Marram

Marram Health Center adds Autism Evaluations by Primary Care Pediatrician

Contributed By: The 411 News

Early diagnosis of autism in children improves their outcome overall in daily life

Marram Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center operated by Porter-Starke Services, can now evaluate and diagnose for autism in children ages 14-48 months, and refer to appropriate supportive care.

Cynthia Hoess, MD, a Pediatric Primary Care physician at Marram, acquired the special certification needed to provide the service in July 2023, making her one of the first primary care providers certified to provide these evaluations in Northwest Indiana.

Previously, only developmental pediatricians could diagnose autism, but Dr. Hoess’ certification is part of a statewide call through the Indiana Early Autism Evaluation Hub System to identify and care for children with autism at an earlier age. There are 14 other hubs across the state of Indiana.

“The ability for primary care pediatricians to diagnose children with neurodevelopmental delays or autism improves access for these evaluation services in a child’s community at an earlier age,” said Hoess. “This then leads to kids getting enrolled in therapies, ABA schools, and other interventions, which improves overall their outcome in daily life.”

Dr. Hoess has worked at Marram Health Center for two years and works in both the Gary and Hebron office locations. She has provided pediatric care in Northwest Indiana for over a decade. Through the years, she has provided care to many children with autism spectrum disorder, a complex neurodevelopmental condition that can affect communication, social interaction, and behavior. With the condition on the rise, Dr. Hoess pursued the special certification through the Indiana University Department of Pediatrics School of Medicine over the course of the past year.

“Dr. Hoess is uniquely positioned to offer comprehensive support and care to families,” said Clarence Boykin, Vice President of Marram Health Center. “Her ongoing efforts and dedication, and her deep commitment to serving those in our community, led her to pursue this certification and the continued education necessary for accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatment recommendations.”

To become an Early Autism Evaluation Hub, Marram Health Center conducted clinical evaluations in the primary care setting and monthly collaborative teleconferences in addition to Hoess’ continued education.

“Completing this certification was meaningful to me to be better equipped to serve children in our community, but also is a testament to the team we have here and our dedication to supporting the neurodiverse individuals and their families,” said Hoess.

Story Posted:08/20/2023

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