WVU Medicine Children’s opened the doors to their new Pediatric Emergency Center in January, only the second emergency care operation in the state to specialize in pediatric care.
“We felt it was really important to provide our children presenting with emergencies and urgencies a separate place to get that care,” said Dr. Ian B.K. Martin, chair of the WVU Department of Emergency Medicine.
The WVU Medicine Children’s Pediatric Emergency Center was a collaboration with the WVU Department of Emergency Medicine and is located in a separate section of the emergency department inside J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.
Its four state-of-the-art rooms provide a family-friendly environment.
“It’s staffed by nurses who are specifically trained in the care of children,” Dr. Martin explained. “It’s got all the pageantry you might expect in a pediatric emergency department with bright colors and characters on the wall. It’s quiet and it’s just an inviting place for families and children to get their care.”
WVU Medicine is searching for its first pediatric emergency medicine division chief and pediatric emergency center medical director to continue to expand patient care.
“I think this person has to have extraordinary leadership skills and administrative experience,” said Dr. Martin when asked about the search. “I think this would also need to be someone who likes the challenge of being a trailblazer.”
And someone who would help the Pediatric Emergency center expand its hours. Currently it operates from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, but Dr. Martin would like to see that expand to 24/7, 365 day a year care.
“Our long-term goal is that we have our own WVU Children’s Hospital,” he said. “As a part of that we’d have a completely separate, much larger pediatric emergency center.”
Nearly 600 patients have been treated at the Pediatric Emergency Center, and Dr. Martin says the families’ response has been positive.
“There are a lot of places out there that families can choose to go, but there are very few where they can choose to go to get the kind of care that we’re offering at WVU,” he said.