April 6, 2015—(BRONX, NY)—Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Health System have named Theodore A. Kastner, M.D., co-director of the Kennedy Center, whose mission is to improve the quality of life of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and director of its primary clinical arm, the Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC). Dr. Kastner assumed the new post on April 6.
Theodore A. Kastner, M.D.In these capacities, Dr. Kastner will work closely with Steven U. Walkley, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Foxe, Ph.D. Dr. Walkley will co-direct the Kennedy Center with Dr. Kastner and continue as director of the Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC). Dr. Foxe will continue as director of research at CERC.
"Ted has a remarkable skill for developing and managing innovative and integrated models of patient-centered care and care coordination for those with complex needs," said Judy Aschner, M.D., physician-in-chief, the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM), professor and Michael I. Cohen, M.D., University Chair of Pediatrics at Einstein. "This talent, coupled with his compassion for patients and their families, will enhance and expand the capabilities and reach of the Kennedy Center and CERC to children and adults with developmental disabilities throughout the Bronx and Westchester County and beyond."
Since its founding in 1956, CERC has provided a broad spectrum of services for children and, despite its name, adults with conditions that include autism, learning disabilities, and developmental disabilities. One of the largest facilities of its kind in the United States, CERC provides more than 55,000 diagnostic, therapeutic and related visits to approximately 7,500 individuals and families each year.
“The Rose F. Kennedy Center was among the first centers in the country established for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and has a long and exemplary history of service, training, research and advocacy in the field... It is a particular honor to return to the Bronx and lead CERC during its integration with Montefiore.”– Theodore A. Kastner, M.D.
In addition to these clinical services and the research centers led by Dr. Walkley and Dr. Foxe, the Kennedy Center houses robust training and community-support programs. Dr. Kastner will become director of its Rose F. Kennedy University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, one of 67 designated regional centers that are federally funded to conduct interdisciplinary training, provide clinical services, furnish technical assistance, carry out research, and create a bridge between universities and the community. He will also direct the Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) fellowship, which provides training to professionals in developmental and behavioral pediatrics, special care and general dentistry, medical genetics and genetic counseling, physiatry, psychology, social work, nursing, and other specialties.
"For almost three decades, Ted has been at the forefront of his field, driving change to improve care and spearheading innovative approaches to serving those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families," said Allen M. Spiegel, M.D., the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean at Einstein. "His leadership will be vital in strengthening and expanding clinical care, research and training programs at Montefiore and Einstein and improving the lives of our patients and their caregivers."
Dr. Kastner is a leading authority on the care of people with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. For the past 18 years, he has served as president of Developmental Disabilities Health Alliance, Inc. (DDHA), the largest provider of healthcare and care management services to intellectually and developmentally disabled persons in New Jersey. He is currently project director of a $2.4 million grant awarded by the New York State Department of Health to CERC to expand and improve access to community-based services for people with developmental disabilities in the Bronx and Westchester.
"The Rose F. Kennedy Center was among the first centers in the country established for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and has a long and exemplary history of service, training, research and advocacy in the field," said Dr. Kastner. "I completed my pediatric training at Jacobi Hospital and my fellowship in developmental pediatrics at CERC. It is a particular honor to return to the Bronx and lead CERC during its integration with Montefiore."
Dr. Kastner will be appointed professor of pediatrics and the Ruth L. Gottesman Chair in Developmental Pediatrics at Einstein and will serve as the director of the division of developmental medicine, Department of Pediatrics at Einstein and CHAM.
Dr. Kastner earned his M.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in 1981. In addition to his training at Jacobi and CERC, he received a master of science in population health from the University of Wisconsin in 1997.
Dr. Kastner has served as a consultant to numerous national organizations and agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice. He has presented at over 200 conferences and training workshops around the country and authored more than 100 publications in the field of developmental disabilities.
His research interests are in primary health care, mental health, managed care, and public policy issues. Dr. Kastner has been a member of numerous professional groups in the field of developmental disabilities including the National Board of Directors of the American Association on Mental Retardation (now the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities). He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Elizabeth M. Boggs Citizenship Award from United Cerebral Palsy Associations of New Jersey and a Leadership Award from the American Medical Association.