Published on December 13, 2016

Baptist to open pediatric intensive care unit

Unit provides next step in care for critically ill children

MEMPHIS, Tenn., - Baptist Memorial Health Care hosted a news conference today for news media and special guests to celebrate the opening of its 12-bed pediatric intensive care unit, which is housed within the Spence and Becky Wilson Baptist Children’s Hospital.

The PICU is the latest addition to Baptist’s growing pediatric services, according to Kevin Hammeran, administrator and CEO of Baptist Children’s Hospital and Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women.

A PICU is an area within a hospital specializing in the care of critically ill infants, children and teenagers and is often the next step in the care of a critically ill child. It will be a natural place to transition those patients who require an extra level of advanced care—helping alleviate the need to transfer patients, which can be disruptive to children and families, according to Hammeran.

The PICU is led by Dr. Mark Heulitt, who is one of the leading experts in pediatric intensive care medicine, according to several sources. Heulitt oversaw Baptist’s opening of two pediatric intensive care unit beds in August and has been integrally involved in every step of the process including staff training, acquisition of technology, and helping carry out the PICU’s family-centered care approach.

Since opening its 10-bed emergency department in January 2015, Baptist Children’s Hospital staff has cared for a steadily increasing number of patients, now averaging 63 patients a day, according to Baptist officials.

Baptist Children’s Hospital has far outpaced original growth expectations and is another option for pediatric care with its central location, which is accessible from Interstate-240. The hospital has attracted a diverse patient mix, with 75 percent of emergency department visitors being Medicaid patients, according to Baptist leadership.

To find out more about Baptist Children’s Hospital, please visit baptistonline.org/pediatrics.

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