Making a Difference

Catherine Manno, M.D., Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital of New York at NYU Langone

Catherine Manno

Children’s Health

Editors’ Note

Dr. Catherine Manno is an experienced academic pediatrician who specializes in pediatric hematology and oncology. Dr. Manno was recruited to NYU Langone eight years ago, at an exciting time of growth and progress.

Organization Brief

The more than 400 doctors at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital of New York (nyulangone.org) – along with nurses, child life specialists, social workers, and other medical professionals – are committed to providing personalized, compassionate care that addresses the needs of the entire family. Their specialists treat children with conditions ranging from minor illnesses to complex, more serious issues at locations throughout the New York metropolitan area. In 2018, the hospital will open a new 160,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art pediatric hospital designed with a theme of New York City from a child’s perspective.

Will you touch on some of the strengths of NYU Langone Medical Center?

I’m very pleased with the support that the Medical Center has provided to develop our children’s services into a world-class entity and with the resources that have been allocated to children’s services for further development of our faculty.

The Department of Pediatrics provides the highest quality medical care for children in areas including neonatology, intensive care, and cardiac intensive care. Throughout our many pediatric specialties and services, we all work closely together so every patient receives the kind of specialty care they need.

On all levels, children who come to NYU Langone for either episodic or long-term care have a very effective and sympathetic pediatric team, as well as support from the new Sala Institute, a virtual institute created to support the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital’s guiding principle of caring for patients and families in a family-centered way.


Our new facility will focus on the
unique needs of children and their families
when the child is in the hospital.


Did you know the commitment for NYU Langone was there early on, and how critical is that support?

I spoke with Dr. Robert I. Grossman (Dean and CEO) several times in the months before I decided to join his team. He told me that a great university medical center cannot exist without great children’s services. Dean Grossman has never waivered in his support for children’s health.

How critical is the commitment to research within the institution?

Research is essential to the academic medical center, and research at NYU has a long and storied history. This includes many luminaries of research progress over the 20th century – names that everyone recognizes like Jonas Salk and Albert B. Sabin.

The Dean is committed to progress in clinical care, education, and research. We have a new research building that is almost complete with basic science laboratories. In our department, we are excited to have investigators in basic science, clinical research, and population health.

Is the necessary innovation taking place within pediatrics to address future needs?

My philosophy in recruiting and retaining scientists is focused on leading us to answers on the critical questions facing the health of children.

For example, our researchers are conducting a randomized clinical trial using intensive education and counseling to assess its effect on infant feeding patterns and subsequent development of obesity. That program was recently re-funded by the USDA. Our experts recognize that obesity is multifactorial and are working hard to unravel its causes.

To ensure a healthy child, do you need to address things like the role the family plays?

Yes. We received a wonderful gift from the Gottesman family for the establishment of the Sala Institute for Child and Family-Centered Care. The Sala Institute has given us the support to further develop our social work, child life, and psychology programs, among others, for children in critical need, families in the ICU, and those with children who require long-term medical care. The Sala Institute also consults with families and youth who advise on various aspects of ways in which healthcare is rendered. This has allowed us to equal or surpass other cutting-edge medical centers in terms of the support we can give children and their families, and the philosophy of family-centeredness.

Will you talk about how the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital will develop children’s services for NYU Langone?

This gift was a game-changer for us. Sylvia Hassenfeld was one of the biggest advocates for children’s causes. She felt it was critically important we have a facility and philosophy for children and their families. All of her family has been deeply involved in helping us to realize her dream.

How important is it within pediatrics and even broader that the diversity within your patient base is mirrored within the workforce?

We are mindful that a diverse workforce is needed to treat a diverse patient population. We work every day to ensure that diversity is embraced in our workforce.

Do you worry that the personal touch will be replaced by the technology available today?

We prioritize the comfort of the patient and the family. It’s very important that we make eye contact and avoid looking at our computer screens throughout our entire interview with patients and their families.

Besides the physician, we have many members of our healthcare team who help to provide that personal touch. Our new facility has been designed to facilitate interaction between providers and families and will focus on the unique needs of children and their families when the chilLEADERS-d is in the hospital.