Starting later this month, Cardinal Glennon Emergency Pediatric Care will be available every day, all day at St. Elizabeth’s emergency department and in the hospital’s Mother Child Center, where newborns receive care.
“I am thrilled to bring some of the best pediatric specialists in the St. Louis metro-area to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. It is stressful and scary when a child is ill or has an accident, so knowing SSM Health Cardinal Glennon’s high-level of care is available so close to home should put worried minds at ease,” said Peg Sebastian, president and chief executive officer of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.
“Our emergency team members provide excellent care but caring for children often takes additional specialization in training, equipment and other resources. This partnership is another way to ensure the highest quality of care is delivered to our patients.”
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The pediatric doctors, who will be available beginning July 18, will serve patients from infants to teens that may have an acute illness or injury that needs immediate medical attention.
Our emergency team members provide excellent care but caring for children often takes additional specialization in training, equipment and other resources. This partnership is another way to ensure the highest quality of care is delivered to our patients.
Peg Sebastian, president and CEO of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital
The seven Cardinal Glennon pediatricians who will work at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital are: Dr. Qamar Zaman, Dr. Paul Grim, III, Dr. Amy Thomas, Dr. Nancy Bauer, Dr. Michael Schildz, Dr. Christopher Wangard and Dr. Timothy Staed.
“We really wanted a committed medical staff that would be embedded in our medical staff community,” Sebastian said. “We want to be able to serve our children and our babies the same we would serve our seniors and our adults.”
Sebastian is passionate about healthcare close to home.
“The Hospital Sisters in particular have made major investments whether its been in people or technology to be able to serve people close to home,” she said.
The pediatricians will primarily serve young patients in the emergency department.
“Their primarily responsibility is to be there for families who come in with children,” Sebastian said.
However, they will also be available to care for newborns in the Mother Child Center and children who need additional observation following outpatient surgery.
The planning for this partnership incorporates more than just the emergency room staff and physicians. Teams from respiratory and radiology have also been working on the project to make sure all child-related care, equipment, and other processes are in place and ready for patients when they come to the hospital.
Special rooms in the emergency department at St. Elizabeth’s already have child-appropriate equipment, because the hospital received Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics certification in 2014 and was recently re-certified in May. This verifies pediatric protocols are already in place to provide immediate care.
“We had the ability to be able to provide those services,” Sebastian said. “Now we have improved upon that with the board-certified emergency pediatricians.”
Sebastian said the need for enhanced pediatric care was known prior to her arrival as St. Elizabeth’s CEO in January. However, she said she accelerated the effort once she came on board.
“We appreciate the collaborative approach offered by a partnership such as this with St. Elizabeth’s,” said Steven Burghart, president of SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. “We consider ourselves partners in delivering the highest outcomes for patients.”
Sebastian said Cardinal Glennon and St. Elizabeth’s benefit from the program.
“When children need to be seen after an emergency room visit or need to have further evaluations, then those patients will be served at Cardinal Glennon,” she said.
St. Elizabeth’s has no overnight pediatric beds.
“It’s so rare that a child or an adult needs an overnight stay anymore,” Sebestian said, “but that doesn’t mean the services to stabilize a child or evaluate the need of a child is any less.”
Future plans for the program include utilizing telemedicine robots to allow Cardinal Glennon physicians at St. Elizabeth’s to portal in to sister facilities including St. Joseph’s Hospitals in Breese and Highland, the UrgiCare in O’Fallon and other smaller community hospitals to consult on pediatric cases.
“Telemedicine has been increasing throughout the nation as a way to provide access to the highest level of care,” Sebastian said. “We believe that we should provide that same level of service to pediatrics to both the O’Fallon UrgiCare and to our sister hospitals in Greenville, Highland and Breese.”
She expects the telemedicine component to begin a few weeks after the pediatricians start seeing patients at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville.
St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is constructing a replacement hospital in O’Fallon, which is expected to open in 2017.
“When the hospital makes the transition for the acute care hospital and the emergency department portion of the move, they (pediatric doctors) will go along with that move,” Sebastian said.