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Health Care New Castle County News

ChristianaCare to open pediatric center this fall

Katie Tabeling

The Center for Women’s & Children’s Health will soon see a 14 bed pediatric care unit. | FILE PHOTO

NEWARK — ChristianaCare announced it will open a 24/7 pediatric care center at its Newark-area campus in September.

The pediatric center will be on the first floor of ChristianaCare’s Center for Women’s & Children’s Health near Newark. With 14 beds, the new center would combine short-stay inpatient and non-scheduled emergency care and staffed around-the-clock with ChristianaCare staff.

“This new approach to pediatric care will make it easier than ever for families and children to receive excellent care when they need it, in a special space that’s just for them,” ChristianaCare System Chief Operating Officer Sharon Kurfuerst said in a statement. “Our new pediatric care center will make it convenient for them to receive dedicated, expert resources for hospital-based, non-trauma emergency and inpatient care all in one location.”

In addition, the center will provide behavioral health emergency needs and referrals for follow-up care.

In 2021, ChristianaCare filed plans for the pediatric care center with the state’s Health Resources Board which outlined $3.6 million in renovation costs to the Center for Women’s & Children’s Health that it opened the previous year.

The 8,400-square-foot facility breaks down its 14 beds to seven beds 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. 

The new facility will also help reduce the patient volume in ChristianaCare’s emergency rooms. ChristianaCare officials previously estimated that less than 10% of its children who come to the emergency room require care available at a level one trauma center.

The pediatric care center is expected to see an estimated 6,300 patients in the first year, with volume projected to increase by 5% each year. 

“The creation of this new facility is an exciting step in our continued journey to create the absolute best care for children and families,” ChristianaCare Chair of the Pediatrics Department David Paul said in a statement. “This center will significantly improve access to care for children, enhance the patient experience and enable us to address the needs of families who desire efficient, quality care in a child-friendly environment.”

ChristianaCare named Dr. Megan Mickley as the medical director of the Pediatric Care Center. She will be joined by ChristianaCare pediatric hospitalists, pediatric urgent care physicians and emergency physicians who have served the Delaware region for years. ChristianaCare will also be hiring four full-time clinical providers. In all, 26 employees will staff the center, including 22 nursing and technical staff members transferred from ChristianaCare’s existing locations.

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