Dr. Sahira Long says patient families at Children’s National Hospital often need care that goes beyond prescriptions and referrals. She is a primary care physician and lactation consultant in our Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health. Dr. Long has worked at Children’s National’s locations in southeast Washington, D.C. since 2005 and is the medical director of Children’s Health Center in Anacostia.
When Dr. Long answered a call from Kassa one evening in late 2018, the mother of three was frantic. Her teenage son, Rell, had been shot and was undergoing life-saving emergency brain surgery in our pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Her husband also had been shot. Dr. Long had cared for Kassa’s children for years. She listened to her questions: Would her son survive? How could she care for her baby who was nursing and her 6-year-old son, when she would need to be at Rell’s side day and night?
Dr. Long met Kassa at the PICU the next night for support. She also helped start a fundraising website to help the family with bills during the crisis. Dr. Long’s support never wavered throughout Rell’s long recovery. She provides the same kind of care for many beloved patient families. “There are times of great stress in the work I do,” Dr. Long says, “but the smiles of my patients and the appreciation of their families makes it manageable.”
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