Little girl receiving emergency pediatric care

Reaching New Heights in Pediatric Care

Wednesday, September 22, 2021 | Emergency Care, Women's & Children's
As a regional healthcare leader, Bayhealth is committed to providing access to safe, compassionate and exceptional care to everyone who needs it—including the youngest members of our community.

One way Bayhealth shows this commitment is by participating in the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program. The goal of this federal program is to reduce sickness and death that result from life-threatening injuries and other medical events in children. The Delaware EMSC program evaluates all of the emergency care facilities in the state on their ability to meet this goal and gives them a Pediatric Care Facility rating from Level 1 to Level 4, with Level 1 being the highest.

As a result of the most recent EMSC performance evaluation, Bayhealth Emergency and Trauma Center, Kent Campus advanced from a Level 3 to a Level 2 rating. To receive a Level 2 rating, an emergency care facility must be able to provide ongoing inpatient pediatric care. This is one reason Bayhealth Emergency and Trauma Center, Kent Campus was able to move up from its original Level 3 rating. Bayhealth Emergency and Trauma Center, Sussex Campus maintained its rating of a Level 3, which is the highest level it’s eligible to receive since the hospital doesn’t have an inpatient Pediatrics unit. And Bayhealth Emergency Center, Smyrna maintained its Level 4 rating, which is the highest rating a free-standing emergency facility is eligible to receive.

“Receiving a Level 2 national certification through Emergency Medical Services for Children says to our community that we are truly ready to care for their loved ones no matter what comes through the doors. We have the education, equipment and support team to best serve our pediatric patients and their families,” said Bayhealth Clinical Educator of Emergency and Trauma Services Karen Cebenka.

When it comes to providing ongoing inpatient pediatric care, the Pediatrics Department at Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus has nurses who are trained in the unique and changing physical and psychosocial needs of children, and doctors, known as pediatric hospitalists, who specialize in the care of pediatric and newborn patients on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All of these nurses and doctors are also trained in pediatric life-support techniques.

Cebenka added how representatives from Emergency and Trauma Services, the Pediatrics Department, and several other areas across the organization work together to make sure EMSC standards are met. For example, Bayhealth’s pediatric nurse coordinators and physicians work closely to collect and review data, which promotes change in real time.

Bayhealth Medical Director of Emergency Services Kelly Abbrescia, DO, also acknowledged the role collaboration played in the new EMSC rating. “This achievement is a testament to the work we do every day with several other departments at Bayhealth to deliver exceptional care to our pediatric patients,” she said.

Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon Justin Connor, MD, is equally excited about the new rating and what it means for his patients. “We believe all children deserve access to high-quality healthcare. The elevation of the Bayhealth Kent Campus to a Level 2 Delaware Pediatric Emergency Care Facility provides reassurance that significant and life-threatening injuries can be addressed immediately, which will improve patient outcomes and alleviate time lost to travel,” said Dr. Connor.

Bayhealth’s Emergency/Trauma Departments have seen more than 6,100 pediatric patients so far this year. Visit to learn more about emergency care at Bayhealth.

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