Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada
Expands Visiting Physician Program
Expert on Genetic Diseases Partners With Cure 4 The Kids Foundation
Nevada’s only non profit Pediatric Cancer Outpatient Treatment Center is expanding its visiting physician program to include a national expert on Human Genetics. Dr. John Barranger’s research in rare lysosomal storage disorders brings unprecedented expertise and access to Nevada patients with these diseases. Because of the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation’s mission, even patients without health insurance will have access to Dr. Barranger’s care.
Among Dr. Barranger’s many accomplishments is a successful enzyme replacement therapy for Gaucher disease, an inherited and disabling lysosomal disorder that affects more than 10,000 people in the United States. The first enzyme replacement therapy received Food and Drug Administration approval in 1991 and serves as a treatment model for more than 50 related lysosomal storage disorders.
Lysosomal disorders usually occur because the patient is missing a single enzyme needed for the body to break down certain fats including lipids, glycoproteins and mucopolysaccharides. Lysosomal storage disease affects mostly children who inherit the disease.
“Dr. Barranger brings to our state a level of expertise that clearly raises the bar for medical care in our community,” says Dr. Jonathan Bernstein, Founder of the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. “Rare and Ultra-rare diseases are complicated to diagnose and treat under the best of circumstances and until now, the residents of Nevada simply did not have access to this type of specialized care. We are very proud to be instrumental in bringing Dr. Barranger to Nevada as a treating physician” Bernstein said.
In 2006, while a professor of Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Barranger became a consultant for the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada. His consulting work around the country allows him to collaborate with other scientists to improve existing therapies and develop new ones for lysosomal disease patients. Dr. Barranger is also involved in planning and evaluating a variety of clinical trials.
The Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners approved Dr. Barranger’s license to practice in the state this month making his position in the Visiting Physician program official. Currently, there is no Board Certified Pediatric specialist with Dr Barranger’s skill and experience in these rare diseases anywhere in the state.
Dr Barranger’s previous positions include a professor in the Departments of Human Genetics, Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry and Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh; The Center for the Study and Treatment of Jewish Genetic Diseases, and the first Comprehensive Gaucher Disease Treatment Center. Barranger is also a former scientist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and former Chief of the Molecular and Medical Genetics Section of the DMNB and Associate Branch Chief.
His honors include the March of Dimes Health Career Award, The United States Public Health Service Commendation Medal, The Arthur S. Flemming Award, and the Scientific Achievement Award of the National Gaucher Foundation.
About the Visiting Physician Program: The mission of the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation which supports the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada is to bring life saving and appropriate medical treatment to children facing life threatening conditions, regardless of their family’s income and if they have medical insurance. The Visiting Physician program allows medical experts not currently found in the state of Nevada to care for Nevada patients. Currently, the Foundation flies in two Board Certified Pediatric Rheumatologists to treat Nevada’s children with Lupus, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and Scleroderma. Without this action by the Foundation, the children would be treated by doctors who typically deal with adults or these families would be forced to travel hundreds of miles to another state for care.
About the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation: Our Mission is to advance cures and means of prevention for pediatric catastrophic diseases, while providing access to quality medical care for the uninsured, underinsured, and medically indigent children of Nevada with complex medical issues; through a charity care plan, education, research, and advocacy. Consistent with the vision of our founder Dr. Jonathan Bernstein, that no child be deprived of care based on a family’s inability to pay for service.