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Salvatore and Johanna Caruso relaxing at home with their children, Siena and Dominic, as Oliver takes a nap. The couple was impressed with the advanced care available at the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Specialty Center at 500 West Putnam Ave. in Greenwich.

Where Kids Are the Center of Attention

Parents are always concerned when their children get sick, whether it’s a nasty cold or a painful earache. When a child has a serious illness, disease or injury that requires surgery or other complex treatment, having convenient access to a trusted hospital staffed with top-notch medical professionals becomes paramount.

That’s what Johanna and Salvatore Caruso of Queens, NY, discovered when their son, Dominic, needed surgery to correct a congenital condition known as ureteropelvic junction obstruction, or UPJO, which results in urine building up in the kidneys. They turned to Sarah Lambert, MD, a pediatric urologist at Greenwich Hospital and Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital’s (YNHCH) Pediatric Specialty Center in Greenwich.

The Carusos were impressed with Dr. Lambert’s experience and the advanced surgical tools available to her at Greenwich Hospital. “Everything went really well,” Dominic’s father said, “and Dr. Lambert and the nurses were amazed at how well he handled the whole operation.”

Located at the brand-new West Putnam Medical Center at 500 West Putnam Ave. in Greenwich, the YNHCH Pediatric Specialty Center provides children and their families with access to nationally ranked specialties.

“What is exciting for pediatric patients and their families, as well as for healthcare providers in the community, is they have Yale Medicine physicians in nearly 20 pediatric specialties available right here in Greenwich,” said Anthony Porto, MD, the center’s medical director and a pediatric gastroenterologist. “We also offer an infusion center and a wide variety of procedures and other services all in one place.”

This collaboration has created – alongside Greenwich Hospital’s existing medical, nursing and support staff – a multidisciplinary team from YNHCH that features board-certified medical and surgical pediatric specialists from Yale Medicine, advanced practice providers, pediatric nurses, medical assistants, social workers, psychologists, nutritionists and child life specialists.

The full range of pediatric specialties and programs offered includes: allergy/immunology, cardiology, craniofacial surgery, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology, hepatology, infusion therapy services, nephrology, neurology, neurosurgery, oncology, orthopedics, pediatric and adolescent gynecology, phlebotomy, respiratory, rheumatology, surgery and urology.

Dominic Caruso, 4, enjoys playtime at home. Dominic has been “improving beautifully” since undergoing robotic-assisted surgery at Greenwich Hospital.

In addition to staffing the center, YNHCH physicians offer 24/7 pediatric emergency services and around-the-clock coverage on the pediatric inpatient floor at Greenwich Hospital. Dominic Caruso was among the first patients at the 8,700-square-foot center, adorned with cheerful, kid-friendly themes.

Dominic was immediately drawn to the Stepping Stones Museum’s digitally projected gigantic interactive wall in the waiting room while he and his parents were there for a follow-up visit with Dr. Lambert.

Back in April 2018, Dr. Lambert performed a complex, minimally invasive surgical operation, called a robotic-assisted laparoscopic pyeloplasty, to remove a blockage in the ureter that drains urine from Dominic’s left kidney. During the operation, she made three small incisions and removed the abnormal ureter causing the blockage. She then placed a stent in the ureter to facilitate healing.

Dominic spent one night at Greenwich Hospital, then returned two weeks later for an outpatient procedure, during which Dr. Lambert removed the stent. “Since then, I have been monitoring his condition with ultrasound tests, and he has improved beautifully,” she said.

Dr. Lambert has been caring for Dominic since he was born. Then affiliated with a New York hospital, Dr. Lambert was called when a congenital condition known as hydronephrosis was discovered when Dominic’s mother underwent a routine sonogram.

Sarah Lambert, MD, a pediatric urologist at Greenwich Hospital and the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Specialty Center, has been caring for Dominic Caruso since he was born.

Over the next four years, Dr. Lambert routinely checked on Dominic’s condition. “He didn’t have any symptoms,” she noted, “but the drainage out of the kidney wasn’t improving.”

Indeed, by last spring, when Dominic was three years old, the condition was getting worse, leading Dr. Lambert to recommend surgery. “Dr. Lambert was confident, and we felt comfortable taking her word,” said Salvatore Caruso. He and his wife consulted with other urologists, a nephrologist and Dominic’s pediatrician before moving ahead with Dr. Lambert.

They also were confident in choosing Greenwich Hospital. “Dr. Lambert explained the da Vinci robotic system she’d be using,” Caruso said. “It is pretty amazing what they’re able to do with it.”

The Carusos now join other families from across the tristate region who are benefiting from the new YNHCH Pediatric Specialty Center. “We are already getting great evaluations regarding the capabilities of our new center,” said Dr. Porto. Added Dr. Lambert, “It is fantastic that we have the ability to impact so many children and their families.”

To learn more about the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Specialty Center in Greenwich, visit