Penn State Hershey dedicates new Pediatric Emergency Department

Penn State Hershey Medical Center today celebrated the opening of its new Pediatric Emergency Department –- a space designed to match the high level of emergency medical care that the hospital has long provided to children across the region. Several dignitaries, including Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Karen Murphy, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new area, which is located within the hospital’s existing Emergency Department, features 12 private treatment rooms. Construction on the $2.1 million project began in March 2015 and concluded earlier this month.

The Pediatric Emergency Department is unique in south central Pennsylvania. It is staffed by a dedicated team of providers who are specially trained to care for children with urgent medical needs. The department also provides the full resources of Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, including access to local pediatric specialists around the clock and the region’s only Level One trauma center for both children and adults.

“This new space is important because it allows our staff to care for patients within an environment that is specifically designed for children,” said Dr. Susan Promes, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Penn State Hershey. “Just as importantly, the department provides access to the same expertise patients and their families expect from the rest of the Children’s Hospital.”

Other features of the new Pediatric Emergency Department include:

  • Child Life staff available to help children cope with their medical emergency
  • Colors, designs and amenities that embrace nature
  • Child-friendly toys and games, including interactive wall-mounted gaming systems
  • Meals and refreshments catered to children
  • Family-friendly spaces

“We built our Children’s Hospital so that parents across central Pennsylvania wouldn’t have to leave the area for high-level care from a full range of pediatric specialists when their children are sick or injured,” said Dr. A. Craig Hillemeier, dean of Penn State College of Medicine, chief executive officer of the Medical Center and Health System, and Penn State’s senior vice president for health affairs. “This new Pediatric Emergency Department is another demonstration of our commitment to caring for the region’s children.”

Between July 2014 and June 2015, the Medical Center treated nearly 20,000 children in its Emergency Department, accounting for about 27 percent of all E.D. visits.

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Last Updated January 21, 2016