This week, he opened an Allergy Clinic in the Professional Office Building of St. Catherine Hospital, 4320 Fir St., Suite 410, East Chicago.
Kakodkar, an adult and pediatric eye, ear, nose and throat doctor, said he recognizes that allergies to food, drugs, the environment or other triggers can have potentially adverse consequences for thousands of children, adults and seniors living in Northwest Indiana.
Allergies are on the rise, and they affect as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Allergic disease, including asthma, is the third most common chronic disease in children under 18 years.
“I’m excited to open an Allergy Clinic here to listen to each patient, and to partner with them to find out what they may be allergic to, and come up with a treatment plan to alleviate symptoms and build up anti-bodies to fight back,” Kakodkar said.
The clinic, which is housed in the hospital’s Audiology Services suite, has two exam stations where patients are tested for 60 different types of allergy triggers, including: tree, grass and weed pollen, mold spores, cats and dogs, environmental substances, food and fungus.
“We are unique in that most clinics have only 30 or so antigens in their testing palate,” Kakodkar said. “We offer same-day test results.”
The clinic, which is housed in the Audiology Services suite, is fully equipped to help patients ages 6, and up, get proper diagnosis and treatment so they can walk through a grassy area, go for a swim, hike in the woods and understand how to cope with food allergies.
“Our goal is to develop an immunity to the things they may be allergic to with immunotherapy,” Kakodkar said.
Craig Bolda, chief operating officer at St. Catherine Hospital, said the Allergy Clinic is a welcome addition to the ear, nose and throat practice Kakodkar began in the region in fall 2014.
As the only fellow-trained pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist in Northwest Indiana, Bolda said, Kakodkar has outstanding skills to treat young patients. “Kids call him Dr. K,” Bolda said.
Jo Ann Birdzell, CEO, said this type of expansion and medical service line is needed in the East Chicago and Northwest Indiana region. Kakodkar has expertise in environmental allergies, allergy shots, sinusitis, food allergy, anaphylaxis, eczema, hives, angioedema, asthma and immunodeficiency, Bolda said.
“Diagnosing and managing allergic conditions, particularly in children and in adults who suffer from environmental allergies, is especially important here,” she said. “Opening the clinic in a location that’s easily accessible to workplaces and schools is important to us.”
The Allergy Clinic and Audiology Services, which offers hearing tests, hearing aids and bone-anchored BAHA hearing devices, is currently accepting new patients.
For hours, call: 219-392-7665.
St. Catherine Hospital is part of the Community Healthcare System, which also includes Community Hospital in Munster and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart.