BAINBRIDGE – This week, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) applauded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for awarding Cleveland’s University Hospitals (UH) $3 million to create a Pediatric Disaster Care Center of Excellence. Led by UH’s Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, this pilot project aims to help ensure the pediatric population receives consistent and reliable care during times of disasters and other emergencies.
“In 2017, eight percent of the U.S. population was affected by at least one disaster – that’s 26.4 million Americans,” said Dave. “As a father of three, I am committed to ensuring our children have the care they need whenever and wherever disaster strikes. Having seen first-hand the dedication and unmatched expertise of the staff at UH’s Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, I know this grant will help them continue to provide the best possible care for our children when they are most vulnerable and develop a much-needed disaster response model that meets the unique medical needs of children.”
“We face threats from disasters every day, which is why it is so important for hospitals and health care infrastructures, government and private entities to work together to create a coordinated emergency response model that is necessary to provide the highest quality care, especially for children,” says Charles G. Macias, MD, MPH, Chief, Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Chief Quality Officer at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Co-PI of The Eastern Great Lakes Pediatric Consortium for Disaster Response. “We are proud to be leading one of only two Pediatric Disaster Care Centers of Excellence in the country right here in Cleveland and are grateful for the grant award to harness and develop these best-practices for preparedness and response.”
Children represent 25% of the U.S. population and face specialized medical challenges. Pediatric care requires specialized training, equipment, supplies, and pharmaceuticals that may not be readily available during and/or immediately following a disaster. Treating children who have been impacted by trauma, infectious diseases, and other hazards during a public health emergency or disaster can challenge health care facilities that do not specialize in pediatric care and stress the health care system as a whole.