Hospital:

Meet the Emergency Medicine Pediatric Team

At Jefferson Health – New Jersey, we understand that family comes first. So, when emergencies happen, we’re here to help. With 24-hour access and greater capabilities than any Urgent Care – including testing, medical imaging, bloodwork, and specialty consults – we provide top-of-the-line pediatric care. After emergency treatment, if your child is too sick to go home, the same team of pediatricians can continue care in our in-patient Pediatrics Unit or arrange medical transfer to a local children’s hospital.

Emergency Medicine Pediatric Team

In partnership with Team Health, top-of-the-line pediatric emergency care is provided at Jefferson Washington Township Hospital by a compassionate team of pediatricians, dedicated to serving the South Jersey community. Headed by Dr. Adam Richards, Director of Pediatric Services at Jefferson Washington Township Hospital and Chief of Pediatrics for Jefferson Health – New Jersey, this experienced care team treats children from infancy to adolescence.

We treat a range of ailments and conditions, including:

  • fever 
  • burns
  • animal bites
  • allergic reactions
  • asthma
  • abdominal pain
  • fractures
  • head injuries
  • open wounds
  • skin infections
  • bacterial and viral infections
  • toxic exposures

This same group of physicians also manages children who need admission to the hospital’s Pediatric Unit for in-patient treatment. Specialists in Pediatric Cardiology, Ophthalmology, Interventional Radiology, and Epileptology (seizures) are available for consultation.

FAQs

  • Are masks required in the Emergency Department?

    Yes. In order to ensure adequate protection against COVID -19 – for your safety and the safety of others – we require everyone over the age of 2 to wear a mask. If you do not have one, we can provide one.

  • What happens once I check in with my child?

    Once you have checked in with your child, our triage team will ask a few preliminary questions, check your child’s vitals, and find out more about what brings you in. This process is called triaging. Once your child is triaged, the nurse will direct you to the next step.

  • Are children and adults combined in the same queue?

    Yes and no. Our Emergency Department staff includes pediatricians, who only treat children. If a child is in the lobby waiting to be evaluated by a doctor, the adult patients in the lobby do not take precedence just because they arrived first. However, rooms and nursing staff are shared between the adult and pediatric queues. We strive to treat children as soon as possible.

  • How does the staff determine the order in which patients are treated

    The order of treatment depends on both the order of arrival and the acuity (or severity) of each patient’s condition.

  • Why did the patient who came after me get seen before me?

    We treat every patient based on their own specific condition and needs. Although it can seem confusing to an onlooker in the lobby, there are safety-driven reasons for the order in which patients are brought back to a treatment area. Some treatments or tests can be initiated while the patient is still in the lobby.

  • How long will the entire process take?

    It depends on what your child needs. If the provider orders blood tests, results are usually available about one hour after the laboratory receives them. Medical imaging results (e.g., X-ray, CAT scan, etc.) usually take 60-90 minutes. (Some types of ultrasounds require a full bladder before the test can begin.) Sometimes children are deliberately observed in the Emergency Department for a few hours to assess an evolving medical condition, such as an asthma exacerbation or an accidental drug ingestion. It is our goal, however, to expedite your child’s care as much as safely possible.

  • Why does everyone ask the same questions?

    A visit to the Emergency Department often includes redundant questions from nurses, doctors, and other staff. Although your child’s care team does share information with each other, obtaining information directly from you and your child is safer than hearing it indirectly from someone else.

  • Will my primary care provider see my results?

    They may or may not have access to our medical record system. However, you can see your results if you download and sign up for MyJeffersonHealth (formerly MyChart). This is an easy process, and we can help you sign up while you're here.

  • Can my child get a school note? Can I get a missed-work excuse?

    Yes. 

  • My child needs a sports physical form completed in order to participate. Can the Emergency Department do that?

    No. Sports physicals should be done by your child’s primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, you can find one HERE.

  • If my child needs to be transferred to another hospital, can I drive them myself?

    Transporting an ill or injured child to a more specialized hospital is usually not a safe option. While a parent’s impulse to “take over” when their child is in need is natural and understandable, transport by qualified staff, via medical transport, provides a safe and seamless transition of care.

  • I'm worried my child has a concussion. Do they need a CAT scan of the head?

    A concussion is a clinical diagnosis and cannot be seen on a CAT scan. Some kids with a head injury do need a CAT scan if there is a clinical concern for a neurosurgical injury, such as bleeding inside the skull. For more information about concussions, visit cdc.gov/headsup

  • My child has a fever. Why was no antibiotic prescribed?

    Most illnesses associated with fever in children should NOT be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are used to treat infections. Infections are caused by pathogens. Most antibiotics only kill bacterial pathogens, although some are anti-viral. Each antibiotic is designed to treat a certain class or group of pathogens, and not every antibiotic will work for every infection. Most fevers in children are caused by viral infections, and no antibiotic exists to treat those infections.

    Most viral infections just “run their course” and resolve as your child’s immune system fights them off. Fever is a sign that your child’s immune system is working. If your child does not need an antibiotic medication, you do not want them to take one, as all medications have the potential for side effects and adverse reactions.

  • My child has a bad stomachache. How do I know if it's an emergency?

    Abdominal pain in children can have various causes, including viruses, food poisoning, and constipation. It's important to pay attention to how severe symptoms are; how long they last; and where they're located. If pain appears in the middle of the night; is accompanied by blood in stool, vomiting, or pain upon urination; or is located in the lower right portion of the belly, these are all warning signs that would warrant urgent medical attention. (Learn more HERE.

Adam P. Richards, MD

Director of Pediatric Services for Jefferson Washington Township Hospital’s Emergency Department, and Chief of Pediatrics for Jefferson Health New Jersey, Dr. Adam Richards is a graduate of The University of Virginia and The Medical University of South Carolina, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He completed his Pediatrics Residency at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 2002. Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, Dr. Richards is also certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support.

Dr. Richards has worked as a Pediatric Emergency Physician and Hospitalist for Jefferson Health New Jersey, through Team Health, since 2002. He has nearly two decades of experience caring for children, from infancy to adolescence, with a range of ailments, both minor and major.

Dr. Richards has been recognized as a “Top Doc for Kids” by SJ Magazine multiple times since 2008 including the most recent 2020 issue. He was honored with the March of Dimes Award of Excellence in 2012. He is a member of the Jefferson Health New Jersey Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, the Department of Emergency Medicine Management Committee, and the JNJ Medical Executive Board. Dr. Richards’ professional interests include the physiology of fever, pediatric respiratory distress, and the safe use of CAT scans in children. When not working, he enjoys jogging, music, gardening, and spending time with his wife and three children.

Wasie J. Iqbal, MD

A graduate of the Windsor University School of Medicine, Basseterre, St. Kitts, Dr. Iqbal completed his Pediatrics Residency at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock, AR. Dr. Iqbal has given various case presentations on topics including Pharmacology Toxicology, Cardiology, and Neurology. During his time in residency, he worked on a project that dealt with food insecurity in his patient population in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has experience caring for diverse populations, as well as managing asthma exacerbations, dehydration, neonatal fever, and more. Dr. Iqbal is Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, as well as certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Basic Life Support.

Dr. Iqbal is a member of the American Medical Association and was a delegate for the American Academy of Pediatrics, representing the Arkansas Chapter. As a Pediatric Emergency Physician, he enjoys the educational aspect of medicine through teaching medical students, residents and the families of patients. During his recreational time, he enjoys astronomy, hiking, camping and travelling.

Jinsy A. Jacob, MD

A graduate of Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal, India, Dr. Jacob also earned her Master of Health and Human Services Management degree from Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, and her MBA from Indiana University – Kelley School of Business. She completed her Pediatrics Residency at Cooper University Hospital, and shortly after, became Pediatric Chief Resident at Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia. 

Dr. Jacob joins Team Health – with Jefferson Health in New Jersey – from Nevada Health Centers, Las Vegas, NV, where she served as the Medical Director of Innovation, Quality, and Research. With expertise in strategic development and implementation of new projects, a primary role of hers was developing protocols to ensure high-quality telemedicine visits and improving the quality of care provided. She is passionate about the role technology plays in improving the delivery of care.

Dr. Jacob, Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, is currently a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics; the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society; the American Medical Association; the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs; and the American Association for Physician Leadership. As a Pediatric Emergency Physician, she especially enjoys caring for all children, loves talking to families about vaccines and is an advocate for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In her spare time, she loves travelling, food, museums and the performing arts.

Ivan A. Darenkov, MD

A graduate of the Second Moscow State Medical Institute, Moscow, Russia, Ivan A. Darenkov, MD, completed his U.S. Pediatrics Residency at Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, NJ. Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, Dr. Darenkov has been a practicing pediatric physician for more than 20 years. He has conducted research in transplant immunology at the Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; and completed his Pediatric Gastroenterology Fellowship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University/Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Providence, RI. Dr. Darenkov also served as a resident and teaching fellow at other health centers in Russia and Germany; he is fluent in both Russian and German.

Before joining Team Health at Jefferson Health - New Jersey, Dr. Darenkov was an attending physician for Emergency Medical Associates with RWJBarnabas Health – University Hospital Hamilton and Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell.

Some of Dr. Darenkov's research interests include upper gastrointestinal tract involvement in pediatric Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis and Laparoscopic Pediatric Urology. As a Pediatric Emergency physician, Dr. Darenkov strives to deliver passionate, unbiased care to his patients — thoughtfully applying his experience in areas of his wider expertise. His hobbies include cycling, tennis, jogging, and reading about history.

Sonya H. Vankawala, DO

Dr. Vankawala completed her undergraduate studies at New York University, where she graduated cum laude. She completed medical school at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (Rowan SOM), where she was president of her class all four years. Following that, Dr. Vankawala completed her pediatrics residency at Cooper University Hospital. She is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and holds certifications in Basic Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support from the American Heart Association. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In addition to healing patients in the emergency room, Dr. Vankawala works to make society at large healthier through volunteer efforts, including previous work at the South Jersey AIDS Alliance, Project R.E.A.C.H. in Camden, and School Bells, Inc., for which she spent time at a medical mission in Belize. In her free time she enjoys traveling, exercising, music, and film. Dr. Vankawala is a Washington Township native, and, in fact, was born just a floor above where she now works.

As a Pediatric Emergency Physician, Dr. Vankawala is experienced in treating everything from abdominal pain and broken arms to diabetic ketoacidosis and neonatal meningitis. For every family that arrives in the ER, she knows that they’re in a time of stress, and aims to provide care that’s compassionate, comforting, and comprehensive.

Our Location

Jefferson Washington Township Hospital 
435 Hurffville-Cross Keys Road
Turnersville, NJ 08012
 
 

If you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

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