Why a Children's Hospital?
Children aren't just little adults - so healthcare for children needs to be customized and provided by people specially trained to care for kids. National studies (Children's Hospital Association, September, 2012) illustrate that there are better outcomes with pediatric-specific care.
Here are a few examples of how a Children's Hospital does things differently:
- Because some children may be frightened by having an MRI or other form of radiology screening, we have the special equipment, training and skills to help children feel at ease-or even take a nap-during a procedure, reducing the need for another screening. Throughout our hospital, we use equipment specially designed for the smallest patients, combined with the compassion and skill that comes from our sole focus on pediatrics.
- Our neonatal intensive care unit is one of the largest in the southeastern United States - and other Level III NICUs often send newborns with complex medical problems to All Children's. With close to 100 of the highest level care beds, our NICU staff members average 25 years of expertise and care for babies weighing as little as a pound.
- At All Children's Hospital, specially trained Child Life Specialists make up part of the multidisciplinary team that makes a children's hospital unique. We currently have 13 Child Life Specialists, a Music Therapist, and an Academic Coordinator. These specialists add value by maintaining play as an essential, natural part of childhood - important in its own right.
- Play facilitates healing, coping, mastery, self-expression, creativity, achievement and learning, and is vital to a child's optimal growth and development.
- While adult cardiac surgeons operate on an adult's fist-sized heart, our pediatric heart surgeons use special instruments to perform surgery on hearts the size of a walnut. The depth and breadth of their lifesaving skills fit perfectly in an exclusively pediatric environment. Our heart surgeons and pediatric cardiologists treat newborns through young adults who have a wide range of congenital heart defects - conditions adult specialists rarely encounter.
Why We Need You
There are a number of reasons why your help is needed to support All Children's Hospital:
- As a stand-alone children's hospital, All Children's relies heavily on Medicaid, which reimburses at rates less than costs and less than Medicare. Changes to Medicaid at the state level can disproportionately impact our ability to provide care to children with chromic, complex conditions - nationally, children with complex chronic conditions account for 6% of the Medicaid population and 40% of the expenses. Almost 70% of the patients at All Children's Hospital have Medicaid as their primary insurance.
- As an academic institution, All Children's membership in Johns Hopkins Medicine brings nationally recognized expertise and experience to training tomorrow's pediatricians. Studies show that having a residency program in a hospital improves the quality of outcomes -- and residents often stay in the area where they receive their training. Currently there is a national shortage of physicians trained in pediatrics - the Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education program (CHGME) is a Federal program that helps to support our efforts to train more physicians in pediatrics. Any cuts to this program limit our ability to train, retain, and recruit physicians to care for our patients.
- From time to time, issues will arise in the legislature that have an impact on children's health. Voice4allkids may provide talking points or ask that you contact your legislators about these issues.
What Can I Do?
Join Our Advocacy Network
Voice4allkids is the All Children's Hospital advocacy network. As a voice4allkids advocate you will help us speak up on behalf of kids in the public policy arena. You will make sure that their needs and concerns are heard when important decisions are made.
Join Us on Twitter
Follow us at @voice4allkids on Twitter to keep up with advocacy issues on a day-to-day basis and join the conversation.