Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18

Thread: New Contact Info for Dr. Betz

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    1,747

    New Contact Info for Dr. Betz

    As some of you may have heard, Dr. Betz is no longer at Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia. He can now be reached at:

    The Institute for Spine and Scoliosis, with offices at:
    3100 Princeton Pike, Bldg. 1
    Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 (near Princeton)
    609-912-1500 or 800-372-6001

    and with another location (beginning this spring) at:
    800A Fifth Avenue @ 61st Street
    Suite 301
    New York, New York 10065

    Janet Cerrone, who has worked with Dr. Betz for 15 years (and who can now be reached at jcerrone@spineandscoliosis.com in addition to janetcerrone@comcast.net) is also now at this location. Dr. Darryl Antonacci (who has practiced alongside Dr. Betz at Shriners in the past, including performing VBS in its early years – and who treats both children and adults) is also at The Institute.

    As I know there are folks who will wonder, this was NOT their decision to leave Shriners. Dr. Betz has devoted 30 years of his life to helping children at Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia. But working for a large corporation myself, I am well aware that politics usually play a role in these things, as it did in this case. In fact, leaving Shriners was so against Dr. Betz’s philosophy that one of the first things he did was try to ensure that patients could see him for consultations at his new practice regardless of insurance or ability to pay.

    There are also indications that Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia - while still of course, treating spinal deformities such as scoliosis – may be shifting its emphasis more towards other non-spine orthopedic conditions. In addition to parting ways with Dr. Betz and Janet (two leaders in the field), the new Chief of Staff is not a spinal surgeon, but rather specializes in upper extremities. These factors, coupled with other events, indicate a possible move into a practice that may no longer focus so heavily on the spine as it has in the past.

    While I still believe very strongly in the mission of Shriners Hospitals for Children, I would be lying if I said I was not a bit disappointed in them and their administration right now based on these recent events that have unfolded and also how they unfolded. One reason I am posting this is because parents have contacted me stating that they felt they were misled. They were told that Dr. Betz was retiring and that other doctor(s) would be taking over for him, rather than being told the truth, that the hospital was parting ways with him and that he would now be practicing elsewhere. Perhaps this practice is not uncommon in the business world, but parents were very upset nonetheless -- and IMHO, it is not in keeping with ‘putting the patient first’ something that I can honestly say I have NEVER seen Dr. Betz neglect to do in over a decade. Even throughout this entire ordeal, he has conducted himself like the class act that he is - and I know that he, along with Janet and Dr. Antonacci, will continue to bring cutting edge treatments to their young scoliosis patients.
    Last edited by mariaf; 07-07-2014 at 07:55 AM.
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 15, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently holding around 26 degrees)
    Under care of Dr. Randal Betz since 2004

    Also mom to Nicole (22) and Danny (25)

    Link to VBS Website: www.vertebralstapling.com

    Janet Cerrone, PA to Dr. Betz janetcerrone@spineandscoliosis.com or (609) 912-1500

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    8,080
    Well that's a shame. Of course Shriners does not come with clean hands to any table given their reliance on blood money from circuses.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    1,747
    It really is a shame, Sharon. I saw some subtle changes in the past couple of years, but never dreamed it would come to this. It took me a while to wrap my head around the fact that Dr. Betz would no longer be at the institution that he helped make into a top-notch center for scoliosis in particular.

    Fortunately, he is starting to build a great team already with Janet and Dr. Antonacci - and they continue to demonstrate their passion for offering better alternatives to their young scoliosis patients. They will be performing fusionless surgeries such as tethering and are already working on plans to get an EOS (low dose) x-ray machine. Ironically, a lot of the money that was donated for the Philly EOS machine was from grateful families of HIS patients.
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 15, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently holding around 26 degrees)
    Under care of Dr. Randal Betz since 2004

    Also mom to Nicole (22) and Danny (25)

    Link to VBS Website: www.vertebralstapling.com

    Janet Cerrone, PA to Dr. Betz janetcerrone@spineandscoliosis.com or (609) 912-1500

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    8,080
    I am worried about kids who will not have access to non-fusion surgeries now. Where will they go if they have no insurance or inadequate insurance? Are the other Shriners still offering it?
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    1,747
    That was one of my first concerns as well. As far as I know, Shriners in Philly is one of the only - if not the only - hospital in the Shrine system doing VBS and the only one doing tethering. Ironically, in all likelihood, neither procedure would have begun to be performed there were it not for Dr. Betz.

    The other concern I have is the ability of the Philly hospital to continue to attract the best talent. I know for a fact that many of these surgeons, like Dr. Samdani, were drawn to the Philly hospital by the opportunity to work alongside and learn from Dr. Betz.

    Knowing Dr. Betz as I do, I believe he will try to work with any insurance company (even if it means getting paid less - it's not about the money for him, or he would have chosen to go into private practice years ago. The Shriners doctors don't make nearly what their counterparts outside the Shrine system do).

    For those with no insurance, as of now at least, they would still be able to go to the Philly hospital for either VBS or tethering.
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 15, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently holding around 26 degrees)
    Under care of Dr. Randal Betz since 2004

    Also mom to Nicole (22) and Danny (25)

    Link to VBS Website: www.vertebralstapling.com

    Janet Cerrone, PA to Dr. Betz janetcerrone@spineandscoliosis.com or (609) 912-1500

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    8,080
    I don't understand the shift away from spine at Shriners/Philly if no other Shriners are doing spine at that expertise level. It is one of a kind. Did they shift to upper extremities? Is there a need for specialized surgery in upper extremity like there is for spine? What are they going to do with the EOS if they aren't doing spine?
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    982
    Quote Originally Posted by mariaf View Post
    That was one of my first concerns as well. As far as I know, Shriners in Philly is one of the only - if not the only - hospital in the Shrine system doing VBS and the only one doing tethering. Ironically, in all likelihood, neither procedure would have begun to be performed there were it not for Dr. Betz.
    Just to clarify, Dr Scott Luhmann does VBS at Shriner's Hospital in St Louis. He is absolutely superb and came highly recommended by Dr Betz after Leah was unexpectedly taken off the Philly VBS waiting list entirely after being given two dates and seeing them both cancelled without explanation. That is no way to treat any family. This was back in 2010 during Shriner's budget cutbacks, still, it was a terrible experience for our family.

    I am glad to hear Dr Betz will still be offering VBS and tethering, but I wonder how he's going to manage with many insurances refusing to cover it.

    Thanks Maria for keeping this community informed. I know you must feel like the rug was pulled out from under you since David has been a patient of Dr Betz's for so long now.
    Gayle, age 46
    Boston brace as a teen for AIS
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation, TLIF at L4/5.
    Feb 2012 major A/P revision for broken rods


    mom of Leah, 12 y/o, diagnosed Jan '08 with 26* thoracic JIS (age 6)
    4/08 26 degrees, brace 16 hrs/day
    9/08 17 deg. OOB - brace discontinued
    9/09 30 deg, resuming brace
    5/10 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    5/14 stable 4 yrs post-op, 14* T

    also mom of Torrey, 9 y/o son, 12* T, decreasing spontaneously (from 19*)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    8,080
    Oh hey thanks for posting that. So at least Shriners/St. Louis is still offering experienced VBS.

    I don't understand how they got away with not giving you a reason TWICE. That is crazy. The next step for me would have been standing on someone's desk. Literally. :-)
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    1,747
    Quote Originally Posted by leahdragonfly View Post
    Just to clarify, Dr Scott Luhmann does VBS at Shriner's Hospital in St Louis. He is absolutely superb and came highly recommended by Dr Betz after Leah was unexpectedly taken off the Philly VBS waiting list entirely after being given two dates and seeing them both cancelled without explanation. That is no way to treat any family. This was back in 2010 during Shriner's budget cutbacks, still, it was a terrible experience for our family.

    I am glad to hear Dr Betz will still be offering VBS and tethering, but I wonder how he's going to manage with many insurances refusing to cover it.

    Thanks Maria for keeping this community informed. I know you must feel like the rug was pulled out from under you since David has been a patient of Dr Betz's for so long now.
    Hi Gayle,

    As for offering VBS and tethering, as of now I can only say for sure that Dr. Betz and Dr. Antonacci are offering tethering (I'm not saying they won't perform VBS, but that may depend - as you say - on if a particular insurance carrier will cover it or not). I guess much like Dr. Newton, they are execting to get tethering covered (I know Dr. Betz and Dr. Newton are friends and I imagine they've discussed this). There is also at least one other surgeon (in CA I believe) who performs tethering - based on what I hear from parents on the VBS site - so thankfully these surgeries ARE being covered by insurance, at least in some cases.

    As for the rug being pulled out from under me, yes, at first it felt like that. But as events unfolded, it really was a no-brainer to follow Dr. Betz and Janet. They have followed David for the past several years (and I adore them both) - and since it's actually closer to travel to Princeton (and soon to Manhattan!), it was an easier decision than I thought.

    p.s. Thanks for mentioning Dr. Luhmann - I inadvertently neglected to do so!
    Last edited by mariaf; 03-28-2014 at 07:57 AM.
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 15, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently holding around 26 degrees)
    Under care of Dr. Randal Betz since 2004

    Also mom to Nicole (22) and Danny (25)

    Link to VBS Website: www.vertebralstapling.com

    Janet Cerrone, PA to Dr. Betz janetcerrone@spineandscoliosis.com or (609) 912-1500

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    1,747
    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    I don't understand the shift away from spine at Shriners/Philly if no other Shriners are doing spine at that expertise level. It is one of a kind. Did they shift to upper extremities? Is there a need for specialized surgery in upper extremity like there is for spine? What are they going to do with the EOS if they aren't doing spine?
    Sorry if I was unclear - they will still be seeing spine patients - it's just that there seem to be indications that they will focus on other areas as well and not be focused so strongly on the spine as they have for the past several years. I believe there are those inside who want to focus on things like upper extremities as well as other areas - and not just be known as a premier spine center.
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 15, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently holding around 26 degrees)
    Under care of Dr. Randal Betz since 2004

    Also mom to Nicole (22) and Danny (25)

    Link to VBS Website: www.vertebralstapling.com

    Janet Cerrone, PA to Dr. Betz janetcerrone@spineandscoliosis.com or (609) 912-1500

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    8,080
    Quote Originally Posted by mariaf View Post
    Sorry if I was unclear - they will still be seeing spine patients - it's just that there seem to be indications that they will focus on other areas as well and not be focused so strongly on the spine as they have for the past several years. I believe there are those inside who want to focus on things like upper extremities as well as other areas - and not just be known as a premier spine center.
    If Betz et al. leave then they may or may not still be considered a premier spine center rather than a good one. Not all surgeons are pushing the research envelope like Betz does.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    1,747
    Exactly.

    For the past 30 years, Dr. Betz has been the heart and soul of the spine program there. Not many doctors combine his experience, skill and drive to continue to find new and better treatment options to treat scoliosis in young children.

    For the last 15 years, Janet Cerrone had also become an integral (and in many ways irreplaceable) part of the spine team in Philly as well.

    It's difficult to imagine that their loss won't have an adverse effect on the program.
    Last edited by mariaf; 03-31-2014 at 09:00 AM.
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 15, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently holding around 26 degrees)
    Under care of Dr. Randal Betz since 2004

    Also mom to Nicole (22) and Danny (25)

    Link to VBS Website: www.vertebralstapling.com

    Janet Cerrone, PA to Dr. Betz janetcerrone@spineandscoliosis.com or (609) 912-1500

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,634
    Well, without them there I'm not going to refer any future grandkids there. I'll refer them to the other one. Where was it? Chicago or St. Louis?

    Edit: I read back through to see it was Dr. Luhmann in St. Louis. It's closer to us, anyway.
    1985 - Dx w/ painful AIS at 16 with 39* upper LEFT thoracic single curve.
    2000 - 41*
    2010 - 46* (T1 - T6) 38* (T6-L2) Now a double thoracic
    2012 - Dx w/ Cervical Muscle Dystonia.
    DDD L5/S1 with left nerve impingement
    Left SI joint dysfunction

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    1,747
    Yes, as far as I know, St. Louis has a really good spine program - and I do know a few folks who have seen Dr. Luhmann and were extremely pleased with him.
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 15, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently holding around 26 degrees)
    Under care of Dr. Randal Betz since 2004

    Also mom to Nicole (22) and Danny (25)

    Link to VBS Website: www.vertebralstapling.com

    Janet Cerrone, PA to Dr. Betz janetcerrone@spineandscoliosis.com or (609) 912-1500

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    1,747
    Just a quick update - Dr. Betz is now seeing patients in his NYC office, as well as in Princeton, NJ. The Institute for Spine and Scoliosis has opened its Fifth Avenue office (right near Central Park) - and as of now, I believe that Janet is scheduling patients to see him at this location on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. Of course, they may increase the number of days they are in NYC depending on the number of patients who need to see them at this location.
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 15, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently holding around 26 degrees)
    Under care of Dr. Randal Betz since 2004

    Also mom to Nicole (22) and Danny (25)

    Link to VBS Website: www.vertebralstapling.com

    Janet Cerrone, PA to Dr. Betz janetcerrone@spineandscoliosis.com or (609) 912-1500

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •