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Health Care News Sussex County

Beebe, Nemours team up with pediatric care agreement

Katie Tabeling

Beebe Healthcare and Nemours Children’s Health have announced a new partnership to expand pediatric care in Sussex County. | PHOTO COURTESY OF BEEBE HEALTHCARE

LEWES — Nemours Children’s Health and Beebe Healthcare have announced a new partnership in Sussex County to improve pediatric care.

Earlier in September, Nemours started rotating five pediatric hospitalists to Beebe’s emergency department, inpatient pediatric unit and labor and delivery department. Nemours and Beebe will rely on existing infrastructure and clinical resources available in Delaware’s largest county by area. 

“Partnerships like this allow us to leverage the trust that these families have already given to Beebe. By welcoming in our Nemours providers, we are taking care of more children closer to home and allowing for immediate response and coordination for any children who need advanced care,” Nemours Children’s Health Chief Operating Officer Pauline Corso told the Delaware Business Times in an email.

Nemours hospitalists will also be available to provide pediatric consultations in Beebe’s emergency department 24/7, as well as collaborating with Beebe’s neonatal nurse practitioners on high-risk deliveries. Patients who require hospitalization will still be admitted to Beebe’s Lewes Campus when the child’s clinical condition can be safely managed in the Lewes hospital.

In serious circumstances when the child’s conditions require to be treated at Nemours, Beebe and Nemours have established a method of communication to transfer the patient to the Nemours Children’s Hospital, 92 miles away.

“This is something that is already done at hospitals across the nation when you have a top specialty hospital in your area. Now, what is exciting is that some families won’t need to travel two hours north because the Nemours pediatric specialists will be able to provide care in partnership with Beebe right in Lewes,” Beebe Healthcare Chief Nursing Officer Lynne Voskamp said.

Nemours and Beebe officials started discussions on a partnership in 2020, the same year that Nemours announced it would partner with Bayhealth on a pediatric facility at its Milford campus. That facility opened in April 2021, bringing roughly 35 new jobs with it. The expansion further into Sussex County grants patients access to high-quality pediatric care while keeping it local.

Health care officials have turned to Sussex County for expansion efforts over the past decade, as the Delaware Population Consortium’s 2020 report predicts that by 2030, the population in Sussex County will be around 270,128, about 23% more than what it was five years ago.

In that same timeframe, the population from infancy to age 14 is expected to be 37,841, or a 4% increase from 2020. Nemours has served 22,000 patients from Sussex County in 2020, a 37% increase from 2018.

“Beebe is growing with this community, and as more and more families make Sussex their home, this partnership with Nemours ensures the highest quality pediatric care,” Beebe Healthcare CEO David Tam said in a prepared statement. “As a pediatrician myself, I am excited to continue working with Nemours and our pediatric partners in the community to provide care for our families.”

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