MemorialCare Health System Articles
Approaching Children's Health with Specialized Care and Advanced MedicineAppeared in Smart Business LA County | September 2011
If you’ve ever been inside one, you know that children’s hospitals are special, some say miraculous places, where everything is kid-sized and child-friendly, and even the most critically ill children have hope of becoming healthy once again.
To learn more, Smart Business turned to Diana Hendel, Pharm.D., CEO of Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, one of just two freestanding children’s hospitals in Los Angeles County and among the largest children’s hospitals in the country.
What makes care of children unique?
Children aren’t simply young adults. While they often share the same illnesses as adults, children are affected differently with unique medical needs and health issues..
Children need a hospital that specializes in their unique needs with pediatric emergency and trauma services, neonatal intensive care, pediatric surgery, pediatric intensive care, and children’s cancer, heart, orthopedics and blood disorder services as well as outpatient specialty programs for managing chronic conditions.
As children grow and develop, their need for highly trained specialized health care increases as they transition to adulthood. What makes Miller Children’s unique is that it not only includes obstetrics care and one of the nation’s best known and largest neonatal intensive care units for fragile newborns, it’s the state’s only free-standing children’s hospital part of a major health care system, thus ensuring continuity of care throughout a lifetime. In fact, Miller Children’s is on the same 54-acre campus as Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, one of the country’s most highly regarded hospitals.
Why are children’s hospitals so important?
Children’s hospitals take seriously our responsibility to ensure children and their families receive the care and attention they require. Whether through a national consortium or enrollment in a clinical trial, children’s hospitals, physicians and health care teams work to uncover complex intricacies of pediatric illnesses. With our top pediatric specialists, children’s hospitals pioneer new vaccines and treatments for common illnesses, chronic conditions and complex diseases.
How do they differ from adult facilities?
While community hospitals might treat some pediatric patients, free-standing children’s hospitals like Miller Children’s have board-certified pediatric physicians with special training to care for children. They are joined by rehabilitation staff, pediatric trained nurses, social services professionals, nutritionists, educators and various other clinicians.
What services help kids adapt to their care?
Children’s hospitals are often the first stop on a long journey for families with children who have a chronic illness. Care teams at children’s hospitals understand the vital role of parents and siblings in a child’s recovery or in managing chronic conditions. At hospitals like Miller Children’s we have family resource centers and offer parent education and a parent-to-parent mentor program to ensure that families know how to manage the condition and help them connect with others sharing similar experiences.
How are children’s hospitals involved in the community?
In what ways can employers help?
Diana Hendel is CEO of Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, Community Hospital Long Beach and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. The facilities are members of the not-for-profit MemorialCare Health System, which also includes Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley and Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills and San Clemente. To learn more about quality health care, visit memorialcare.org.
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