No parent ever wants to have to take his or her child to an emergency department or to a stay in a hospital. When the need arises, having to drive far from home can make a difficult experience even worse.
With that in mind, two health care institutions with long histories of service to the region are teaming up to expand access to pediatric care in a space designed just for children.
Children’s Memorial Hermann and the University of Texas Medical Branch are launching a unique collaboration to open a pediatric inpatient unit and pediatric emergency department at UTMB’s state-of-the-art Clear Lake Campus, 200 Blossom Street in Webster. The inpatient unit and pediatric emergency department will serve one of the fastest-growing regions in the state.
“Collaborating just makes sense,” said Dr. Ben Raimer, interim president of UTMB. “Both of our institutions are committed to bringing the best possible health care to the people who need it close to where they live and work. Rather than each of us trying to duplicate the other’s work, we are going to work together to help parents to get the best possible care for their children, closer to home.”
To do that, UTMB has converted the eighth floor of the Clear Lake Campus hospital into the new 15-bed inpatient pediatric unit. The pediatric emergency room can be accessed from the main ER entrance on the first floor.
“We are thrilled to form this regional collaboration with UTMB, which will broaden access to specialized, high-quality care for children and their families across the Southeast region,” said Dr. David L. Callender, president and CEO for Memorial Hermann Health System. “For generations, Memorial Hermann has partnered with another UT institution, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, to deliver exceptional patient care driven by innovation, teaching and research. By combining the expertise of UTMB, UTHealth and Children’s Memorial Hermann, we will be able to strengthen our ongoing commitment to creating healthier communities and provide care for families where they need us the most.”
Designed to be child- and family-friendly, the unit provides child life specialists who can help patients and their families understand the care plan and manage any related stress. Amenities include a playroom, a family lounge and an Xbox gaming system in every room. The artwork that decorates the unit was created by students from Clear Creek Independent School District and children of UTMB employees.
Staffing the new unit will be UTMB pediatricians and nurses, as well as Children’s Memorial Hermann leadership using clinical protocols created in collaboration with Children’s Memorial Hermann’s pediatric health care experts.
For pediatric patients who need a more complex level of care than can be provided at the UTMB Health Clear Lake Campus physicians and the rest of the care team will work with the patient’s family to determine the best option for the individual patient.
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*Memorial Hermann Health System owns and operates 14 hospitals and has joint ventures with three other hospital facilities, including Memorial Hermann Surgical Hospital First Colony, Memorial Hermann Surgical Hospital Kingwood and Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital-Katy.