The ER for kids

The ER for kids

New Pediatric Emergency Room to open July 1

By Allison Wilson

No one wants to bring their child to the emergency room, but accidents and illness strike even the smallest among us. To help ensure these children receive the best care, UF&Shands will open a new pediatric emergency room this summer, with doctors, staff and equipment geared specifically for the youngest patients.

Opening July 1, the Pediatric Emergency Room at Shands Hospital for Children at UF will include a separate entrance, 13 private treatment rooms, and five observation bays with pediatric-specific equipment and technology. It will also offer two waiting rooms and two exam rooms specially designed to isolate children with communicable (infectious) diseases. Pediatrics After Hours will be moving from the Shands Medical Plaza to the renovated space and will include six exam rooms with a waiting room.

Designed with a nautical theme that includes a fish tank and walls painted to simulate waves, the Pediatric Emergency Room will be located where the original Emergency Department was at the east entrance of Shands at UF on the north side of Archer Road. Pediatric emergency services will move from the Shands Critical Care Center in the Shands Cancer Hospital to the new location beginning at 7 a.m. July 1. The new location will consolidate pediatric care in the same building, ensuring a better continuum of care.

“When the new facility is complete, we will oversee close to 20,000 visits per year,” said Jennifer Light, M.D., a medical director of pediatric emergency medicine and assistant professor of emergency medicine in the College of Medicine. “Our entire staff will be trained in pediatric care and pediatric pain management.

We will provide care for the full spectrum of illness from minor lacerations and fever to true life-threatening emergencies. This will truly be an asset for the entire community.”

The Pediatric ER is the first phase of the newly planned Shands Hospital for Children. Existing space on adjacent floors within Shands at UF will be redesigned to create the 175-bed hospital.