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Elizabethtown College hosts famed pediatrician Dr. D. Holmes Morton

Oct 24th, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page, News

ELIZABETHTOWN, PA (10/24/2012)– Dr. D. Holmes Morton, cofounder of the Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg, Pa., presents the Young Center‘s Durnbaugh Lectures Thursday, Nov. 8, at Elizabethtown College. The renowned pediatrician will speak about his experiences working in Old Order Amish and Mennonite communities. The lectures take place in the College’s Gibble Auditorium.

At 3:45 p.m., Morton presents “Caring for the Patient in the Time of Genomics: Small Science at the Clinic for Special Children,” on the benefits of practicing medicine the way the clinic does-using modern technology to do small-scale research, focusing on the case study and prioritizing on spending time with patients. At 7:30 p.m., Morton presents “Plain People and Modern Medicine: The Clinic for Special Children as a Model for Health Care in North America’s Plain Communities,” a discussion of the clinic’s work, its effect on medical outcomes, and its economic value for Old Order Amish and Mennonite communities. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Morton is a graduate of Trinity College and Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital in Boston, Mass., and studied biochemical genetics at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa. In 1988, Morton began work at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Md., where he developed methods for diagnosing and treating the Amish variant of glutaric aciduria type 1 (GA1), an inherited disorder in which the body is unable to properly process certain proteins.

In 1989, Morton founded the Clinic for Special Children with his wife, Caroline Morton. His work at the institute, as well as his contact with several families affected by GA1, led to the creation of the clinic, a non-profit center that provides care to children with complex genetic disorders. Though it began as a regional facility, it has gained national and international attention for its research and innovative treatments of disorders such as GA1, maple syrup urine disease, Crigler-Najjar syndrome and other disorders that occur within the Old Order Amish and Mennonite communities. The goal of the center is to advance testing of newborns for these conditions, to improve follow-up services, to create better ways to diagnose patients, and to further research on these disorders in order to improve treatment options for people with these conditions.

The Durnbaugh Lectures, established in 1993, are funded by an endowment created to honor the work of Don and Hedda Durnbaugh, two of the original Young Center fellows. Each year the lectureship brings a noted scholar to campus to present research related to Anabaptist and Pietist groups.

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