How pediatric hospitals provide the specialized care California’s children needAppeared in Smart Business LA County | April 2012
If you’ve ever been inside one, you know 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.
Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach is one of the nation’s six largest children’s hospitals in patient admissions with a world-renowned neonatal intensive care unit for fragile newborns. In addition, its Women’s Pavilion is unique in medical history as a pioneer in perinatal medicine for high-risk pregnancies. As a result of these achievements, moms and families from throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties access Miller Children’s extraordinary services.
That is why Smart Business turned to its CEO Diana Hendel, Pharm.D., to learn more. Caring exclusively for kids, expectant moms and their newborns, Miller Children’s, just one of two children’s hospitals in Los Angeles County, extends its pediatric and family centered care in the community via satellite clinics, health centers and schools in multiple locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties.
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 specializing in their unique needs with pediatric emergency and trauma services; neonatal intensive care; pediatric surgery; pediatric intensive care; children’s cancer, heart, orthopedics and blood disorder services; and 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 includes obstetrics care and is one of the nation’s best known and largest neonatal intensive care units, and the state’s only free-standing children’s hospital that’s part of a major health care system, thus ensuring continuity of care throughout a lifetime. Miller Children’s and its new ‘castle-like’ patient pavilion is on the same 54-acre campus as Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, which is one of the country’s most highly regarded hospitals.
Why are children’s hospitals so important?
We take seriously our responsibility to ensure children and families receive the care and attention they require. Children’s hospitals, the top pediatric specialists and health care teams work to uncover complex intricacies of pediatric illnesses and 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 the 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 understand the vital role of the parents and siblings in a child’s recovery or in managing chronic conditions. At Miller Children’s, family resource centers, parent education and a parent-to-parent mentor program ensure families know how to manage the condition and help them connect with others sharing similar experiences.
In what ways can employers help?
DR. DIANA HENDEL is CEO of Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, Community Hospital Long Beach and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. The not-for-profit MemorialCare Health System also includes Orange Coast Memorial in Fountain Valley and Saddleback Memorial Medical Centers in Laguna Hills and San Clemente. To learn more, visit memorialcare.org.
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