Pomegranate Health Systems adolescent psychiatry treats teens age 12-17 with mental and behavioral health disorders at its residential treatment campus and acute hospital. Medical Director, Kasiraja Sathappan found his niche when he was first doing his residency in psychiatry at University Medical Center, East Carolina University School of Medicine in Greenville, NC.
The realization that most of the adults he encountered during his residency were suffering from PTSD that stemmed from their childhood inspired a shift to focusing on childhood development and treatment. While doing a rotation in child psychiatry, he realized adults do not get sick ‘in a vacuum’ and childhood experience is a key contributor to that. He realized he could make a significant difference in helping children to heal. Sathappan has his fellowship in Child Psychiatry from Duke University Medical Center Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
In the course of his early psychiatric career he found that,“because there is a very small percentage of child and adolescent patients who require intensive residential care, they were often orphaned within a larger facility or medical center, a smaller subset of a big adult psych treatment center, -and those were frequently ‘dumpy places’,”Sathappan exclaimed. He decided to build a brand new place for them; to establish an updated facility with a clean, supportive environment to focus on their care.
Sathappan is especially interested in pharmacogenealogy. ‘Genetic testing has been used in other branches of medicine which study the genetic component of cancer medication, for example. I was so thrilled when they developed gene testing for psychiatry- it’s a cutting edge technique,’ he said. Pomegranate Health Systems has been using Genesight by Assurex Health, a genetic test of a patient’s potential response to psychotropic and attention deficient and hyperactivity (ADHD) medications, for Pharmacogenomics (PGx) can show how a person’s DNA affects their response to FDA-approved medications, to arrive at best options for a patient’s diagnosis. Sathappan continues to devote his time and energy to focusing on the most up-to-date care to provide adolescents with the best chance to heal and grow, making lasting changes in their lives.