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World-class pediatric care recognized at Carle Foundation Hospital

World-class pediatric care recognized at Carle Foundation Hospital

Carle Foundation Hospital is now designated a Pediatric Critical Care Center by the state of Illinois, furthering its delivery of world-class care and support to communities it serves. The prestigious title announced this month means the hospital is just one of three Pediatric Critical Care Centers in downstate Illinois and 11 statewide.

The Illinois Pediatric Facility Recognition program makes the designation as it assists the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in evaluating and choosing hospitals that meet certain evidence-based criteria. Providers who meet quality metrics needed to achieve the recognition show readiness in providing emergency, critical and specialty care for children.

“The designation is a recognition of the highly-skilled work and the healthcare safety net Carle provides close to home for the region’s most vulnerable patients,” Brent Reifsteck, MD, Medical Director, Children’s Services, said.

He credits arduous work initiated years ago by David Chan, MD, Associate Chief Medical Director, Acute Care and Children’s Services, and Kayla Banks, PhD, RN, former Carle vice president of Women and Children’s Services and current interim Methodist College chancellor. They understood the needs of the community and focused on bringing providers and services for pediatric patients to keep families close to home, he said.

“It was a process that valued support from Carle leadership and seemed to occur gradually for the team,” Reifsteck said. “I plan to take this momentum and continue to march the service line forward in continued growth of providing high-quality pediatric healthcare.”

“I’d like to congratulate the staff and administration at Carle Foundation Hospital for achieving this important designation,” said IDPH Director Sameer Vohra, MD. “The designation as a Pediatric Critical Care Center is a testament to their commitment to provide the highest level of care for their youngest patients. We are pleased to recognize their efforts and applaud their dedication to improving the level of pediatric care available in Illinois.”

Carle Quality Outcomes Coordinator Sheila Curtis, MSN, CCRN-K Pediatrics, said IDPH has three levels of facility designation as it relates to children who arrive at emergency departments. They are SEDP (Standby Emergency Department for Pediatrics) where providers help children stabilize and then transfer; EDAP (Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics) where there are comprehensive pediatric emergency services; and PCCC (Pediatric Critical Care Center) where there are specialty pediatric inpatient services and a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

Carle Foundation Hospital opened the pediatric intensive care unit in June 2020 as the region’s only PICU with nursing respiratory staff and physicians to serve the most acute patients – like those in need of total breathing support, intense medications and organ dysfunction. The need for the separate unit located next to the regular pediatric area was even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. The youngest of patients in the hospital’s PICU have access to cardiology, endocrinology, neurology and surgery services. Care teams also help family members find accommodations to remain at the hospital with their loved one.

A team of care providers support families during their stay, including social workers and Child Life Specialists who help families cope during the child’s hospital stay and coordinate the release home.

Achieving a Pediatric Critical Care Center recognition is part of Carle Health’s long-term commitment to best serve the community and surrounding region. The hospital offers patients and families throughout east central Illinois a higher level of care and the ability to find more specific expertise if needed all in inside a familiar place.

Categories: Culture of Quality, Community

Tags: Carle Foundation Hospital, Champaign-Urbana, pediatrics