Designed for kids

Designed for kids

New Pediatric E.R. enhances emergency care for children

By April Frawley Birdwell and Lindsey Robertson

Dr. Joseph Adrian Tyndall, M.D., Frank Bury, Kenneth Brighton, Dr. Jason Rosenberg, Bryan Rosenberg, Dr. David S. Guzick, Cathy Droke, Luisa Ferrero, Horst Ferrero and Dr. Kevin Behrns, M.D., participate in the ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the Shands Hospital for Children Pediatric Emergency Room June 22./Photo by Jesse S. Jones

His voice broke as he spoke to the crowd gathered in the ambulance bay in front of the new Pediatric Emergency Room at Shands Hospital for Children. Jason Rosenberg, M.D., was thinking of the moment four years earlier when he had stood in the same spot after his son Bryan, then 2-and-a-half, hit his head.

“A lot of boys bump their heads,” Rosenberg said. “Bryan did it just wrong.”

After being seen by pediatric emergency medicine specialist Jennifer Light, M.D., who noticed signs that the little boy’s brain was bleeding, Bryan was rushed to the trauma room, to the CT scanner and to the operating room.

“Because of that, he is standing here,” Rosenberg said. “He is all right.”

On June 29, Rosenberg’s son cut the ribbon opening the new Pediatric E.R. at Shands Hospital for Children, flanked by UF&Shands leaders and the donors whose time and support made it possible. A few days later, the E.R. opened, becoming north central Florida’s first emergency room specifically geared toward children.

Located at Shands at UF, the new Pediatric ER has a separate entrance with free valet parking for adults transporting children and features a kid-friendly nautical theme. More important, families have access to an expanded team of UF pediatric emergency medicine physicians and Shands pediatric emergency-trained nurses, additional treatment space and the latest technology.

“We’ve created an environment just for families, staffed by people committed to the care of children,” said Light, a clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine and Pediatric E.R. medical director. “This generates great positive energy and the opportunity for us to improve services and the whole experience for young patients and their families.”

The Pediatric ER will be staffed by seven pediatric emergency medicine physicians and 22 Shands pediatric-trained emergency medicine registered nurses. The team will be able to treat up to 24,000 pediatric emergency patients a year.

“As they grow, children place so much trust in their parents, especially when things go a little wrong. Sometimes a kiss and a bandage are all they need when a bump or bruise has temporarily sent them to the sidelines. But families often need help when the problem is more serious,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., UF senior vice president for health affairs and president of the UF&Shands Health System. “We understand the importance of this implicit trust. That’s in part what we mean when we talk about being here ‘For the Life of Your Child.’ So today, we dedicate the Pediatric Emergency Room at Shands Hospital for Children at the University of Florida to all children in our community.”

Pediatrics After Hours also will move to the new space in July. Pediatrics After Hours is a collaborative effort between UF doctors and Shands nurses and community pediatricians, who provide urgent primary care and non-emergency services.

The new E.R. is located where the old E.R. was at Shands at UF. Renovations to the space cost about $5 million. To fund these efforts, Shands employees donated nearly $300,000 and the project has received generous support from several donors: the Dance Marathon ($750,000), the Children’s Miracle Network ($550,000), the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation ($500,000), Leo and Nola Flowers ($484,000 estate gift), and Kay Davison ($100,000).