POTTSTOWN MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER’S EXPANDING PEDIATRIC SERVICES: INCREASED CAPABILITIES ALLOW MORE CHILDREN TO RECEIVE CARE, CLOSE TO HOME
Pottstown, PA – Prior to March of 2007, there was a lengthy period of time when sick or injured children had to leave the community to receive inpatient hospital care.
Pottstown Memorial Medical Center (PMMC) is proud to announce all that has changed with the addition of Cynthia Harris, RN-BC, MBA, Certified Pediatric Nurse, director of PMMC's pediatric program, and the team of primary care pediatricians, medical specialists and specially trained nurses. In the past year, more than 150 local pediatric patients have received inpatient care at PMMC for a wide-variety of illnesses, injuries and conditions requiring surgery.
For families residing in the Tri-County area, the local availability of high-quality pediatric medical care is a welcomed change. According to Steve MacLauchlan, CEO, (PMMC) parents asking for locally available pediatric services was one of the most frequent requests he has received since taking the helm at PMMC. “It was apparent that the lack of pediatric services was taking a toll on local families. We made it a priority to offer pediatric inpatient services so families would not have the additional burden of traveling to distant healthcare facilities for care.”
Once recognizing the pediatric needs of the growing community, PMMC recruited highly-trained orthopedic surgeons to offer advanced procedures including scoliosis surgery. The next step was recruiting Cynthia M. Harris, RN-BC, MBA, Certified Pediatric Nurse, to direct the pediatric program. Now pediatric patients can receive leading-edge technology and the clinical talent of specially trained staff (all nurses are Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certified), combined with child-friendly and family-centered care right in their community.
“With this talented and capable director in charge, PMMC has been able to care for an increased number of pediatric patients, and we are available to all families should the need arise,” said Kim Jack, RN, MSN, Chief Nursing Officer. “Each year, millions of children are hospitalized for a large variety of health related issues. As parents, we understand how important it is to have a hospital close by that can provide the medical care your child needs.”
PMMC’s pediatric unit treats a variety of medical conditions including orthopedic injuries ranging from complex procedures such as scoliosis surgery to fractures; as well as pneumonia, croup and respiratory conditions; appendicitis, jaundice, asthma exacerbation and dehydration.
Currently, the six-bed unit offers parent sleeping spaces, a solarium play area for patients, and specialized room configurations allowing for convenient observation and supervision by nursing staff.
According to Steve MacLauchlan, CEO, the growth will continue with the next phase of pediatric expansion beginning later this year when the hospital will begin constructing a pediatric-dedicated unit, which will accommodate more pediatric admissions. The new child-friendly unit will be equipped with rooms that can accommodate beds and cribs, video cameras in each room, wall mounted monitors to check respiratory and cardiac vital signs, additional accommodations for parents, a physician conference room, and separate exam rooms.
“It is an exciting time for the pediatric program here at the hospital,” Cynthia Harris states. “There are a lot of families here in the community not aware of the services we can provide to their children. They think they have to go into the city for care, but they can get quality care right in their neighborhood.”
She adds that the nursing staff is specially trained to care for pediatric patients who require care for many different medical conditions. “Our nurses are not only trained to care for the pediatric population, but they have the compassion and understanding to make the patients feel comfortable during their stay with us.”
INPATIENT PEDIATRIC SERVICES HIGHLIGHTS