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Children's Emergency Center Receives Pediatric Emergency Certification

Part of Arizona's Implementation of a Regionalized Pediatric Emergency Care System

Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

The Children's Emergency Center, Mendy's Place at John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital in Phoenix, has been granted a Pediatric-Prepared Emergency Care (PPEC) certification, according to the Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AzAAP) and Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).

The certification means the facility meets specific criteria and is prepared to provide emergency care resources and capabilities for pediatric patients. If necessary, the hospital can stabilize a child for transfer to a facility that offers more specialized pediatric care.

The recognition is part of an effort to improve outcomes for ill and injured children visiting emergency rooms, and Arizona is among only five states to implement such a specialized pediatric emergency care system. Created through a public-private partnership, PPEC is a voluntary certification program of pediatric standards for emergency departments.

"We are very excited about becoming a Pediatric-Prepared Plus site," said Kathy Northrop, RN, BSN, director of Pediatrics and Mendy's Place at John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital.

"This certification acknowledges what our families already know — that our facility provides the highest level of quality care to the children of our community," Northrop said. "We are looking forward to the network of collaboration between all the hospitals in Arizona as this program continues to grow."

Ten facilities, seven in the Phoenix area, two in Tucson and one in Show Low, were among the first to receive the certification last year. It includes three levels — Prepared, Prepared Plus Care and Prepared Advanced Care. Mendy's Place becomes the Valley's third pediatric emergency facility to earn a Prepared Plus Care rating, based on a site visit.

"We are truly proud of the care that is provided at Mendy's Place and this recognition by AzAAP and ADHS," said Mary Ann Turley, DO, chief medical officer for Deer Valley Hospital. "This level of high-quality pediatric care reflects the kind of care we strive to provide patients throughout our hospital."

Since 2008, the Office of Injury Prevention for ADHS has spearheaded the effort to launch the pediatric emergency department certification system. In 2010, ADHS partnered with AzAAP to establish the certification, conduct certification reviews and offer continuing pediatric emergency education. Only hospitals that are members of the Chapter's partnership can apply for certification. Those membership fees will eventually sustain the program.

"In addition, the ADHS-AzAAP partnership identified two key areas for improvement: the need for more pediatric resources devoted to mental health as well as disaster preparedness," according to Dr. Dale Guthrie, AzAAP president and Gilbert pediatrician.

The public-private partnership includes hospitals, physicians, nurses, emergency personnel, AzAAP and ADHS. Visit azaap.org for more information.

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