Akron Children’s Hospital Invests in Expansion of Services in the Valley | News, Sports, Jobs


BOARDMAN – Akron Children’s Hospital is one of the best pediatric medical centers in the world – an important distinction for the Mahoning Valley and a huge asset to the region.

“It’s a huge asset to the community because this care is local. It is here, in our backyard, that we take care of our children, the children of our neighbors and the children of our schools”, said Paul Olivier, Vice President, Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.

The system, which has a huge presence in the Mahoning Valley, was No. 16 among 150 specialty hospitals, according to Newsweek’s 2022 World’s Best Specialized Hospitals ranking.

Said Grace Wakulchik, CEO emeritus when the hospital announced the honor in October, “This ranking is another testament to the compassion, expertise and quality of care that our healthcare teams provide to patients and their families every day.

Akron Children’s Hospital brings a distinctive skill set to the Valley, drawing on the heritage of Tod Children’s Hospital – that of a special focus on the health care needs of children and adolescents, Oliver said.

“The skill level of staff and the culture of our organization to support children and their carers, whether it’s their families or parents or foster parents or grandparents, we come together around children for that and that’s what makes us special,” says Oliver.

The system has invested millions in recent years to improve and meet the growing needs of pediatric health care in the Mahoning Valley – from $2.3 million to expand its Youth Behavioral Health Program to $2.9 million to expand and renovate an office in Austintown at nearly $300,000 to add a new sports gym complex to pediatric rehabilitation services at Akron Children’s Hospital, Warren, on East Market Street.

The big investment is now $31 million at the Beeghly campus on Market Street, Boardman, for a new emergency service.

At 34,7000 square feet, the new department is more than three times larger than the existing department. When completed, it will increase the number of treatment rooms from 17 to 23.

Additionally, the number of behavioral health treatment rooms will increase from two to three, and the number of triage rooms will increase from one to two. The building will also have two dedicated resuscitation rooms, one more than currently.

Also at Beeghly, just over $1 million will be spent this year to add three pieces of equipment to the imaging department: an EOS system that uses low-level radiation to capture images of the spine, a new fluoroscopy and a second ultrasound. ultrasound room.

“We have the technology on the Akron campus and now we’re adding it here,” Olivier said of the EOS machine. “So for our spine surgeons, this will give them an extra level of diagnostic capabilities when this is added.”

All three projects are expected to be completed by June, Olivier said. Private donations pay for a good part of the investment.

Meanwhile, in March, Akron Children’s received $3.9 million from the Ohio Department of Health to expand its School Health Centers, a program that began in 2019 to provide health care to children who otherwise they might not have access to it.

Locally, expansion will occur in districts already participating in the program: Sebring Local Schools, East Palestine City School District, and Warren City Schools. The Windham Exempted Village School District program in Portage County will also be expanded.

“These funds will allow us to expand beyond the single team of nurse practitioners we have in place, purchase telehealth equipment for schools, and essentially help with our expansion plans by one year instead of five years, said Michele Wilmoth, director of school health services.

Telehealth equipment will allow the nurse practitioner to hear heart and lung sounds and see into a child’s ears, nose and throat for a full exam even when not present in the building where the child is sick.

According to the hospital, an Akron Children’s nurse practitioner, working with school nurses and other team members, is able to:

・ Diagnose a child with a mild illness in person or via telehealth, with parental permission, and arrange for a prescription to be ordered without the child having to leave school or a parent does not have to leave work;

・ Connecting a family to a pediatric medical home and other community resources;

・ Help manage students with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and asthma;

・ Help diagnose a behavioral health problem and refer the family to a specialist;

・ Provide vision and hearing screenings; and

・Provide health screening and vaccinations at a private location within the school office for a child who is late for preventative care due to the pandemic, residential move, or other reasons.

“These clinics remove many of the barriers that prevent families from getting health care for their children, such as lack of transportation and the inability to miss work,” said Wilmoth. “In addition, they keep the children in school as much as possible and this continuity is a key factor in their academic success.”

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