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Health Care New Castle County News

ChristianaCare opens new pediatric center

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Dr. Tiffany Tucker cares for an infant in ChristianaCare’s Pediatric Care Center. | PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTIANACARE

NEWARK — ChristianaCare opened a new 24/7 pediatric care center at its Newark campus, providing hospital-based, non-trauma emergency and inpatient care all in one location.

The $3.6 million facility opened Wednesday and includes a 14-bed wing for short-stay inpatient and emergency care for children and teens. The pediatric center is on the first floor of ChristianaCare’s Center for Women’s & Children’s Health, targeting select non-scheduled emergency care needs. In total, the facility is 8,400 square feet.

“This new facility is an exciting step in our continued journey to create the absolute best care for children and families in our community,” ChristianaCare Pediatrics Department Chair  David Paul said in a statement. “The Pediatric Care Center will significantly improve access to care for children, enhance the patient experience and address the needs of families who want high-quality care in a child-friendly environment.”

As previously reported by the Delaware Business Times, ChristianaCare filed plans in 2021 with the Health Resources Board to add the new beds. Breaking down the bed total, seven beds would be allocated for short-stay inpatient and observation care and seven beds for emergency care. By bringing both services in close quarters, ChristianaCare will create operational efficiencies as the same staff would be able to provide 24-hour coverage for both care. 

ChristianaCare officials said the Pediatric Care Center will be able to evaluate and manage 90% of the pediatric cases currently seen in its emergency department. The center expects to care for an estimated 6,300 patients the first year, with volume projected to grow 5% each year.

Expert care will also be available for children and adolescents with behavioral health emergency needs, with appropriate referral sources for follow-up care. Physicians will lead the care center trained in a variety of backgrounds, including hospital medicine and emergency medicine.

“Our new Pediatric Care Center makes it easier than ever for families and children to receive excellent care when they need it, in a special space designed just for them,” ChristianaCare System Chief Operating Officer Sharon Kurfuerst said in a statement. “The center will care for the special needs of pediatric patients, making it convenient for them to receive dedicated, expert resources for hospital-based, non-trauma emergency and inpatient care all in one location.”

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