Dupont upgrades focus on kids

December 17th, 2018

By Sherry Slater | The Journal Gazette

Dupont Hospital is poised to open three child-centered areas that have undergone multimillion-dollar renovations in the past 14 months.

The improvements are geared toward the hospital's youngest patients and include six new general pediatric beds and three pediatric intensive care beds in a separate unit, officials announced Wednesday.

The units will be staffed by physicians, nurses and therapists with advanced training in pediatrics and pediatric intensive care.

Lutheran Children's Hospital's specialized services previously have been located exclusively within the walls of Lutheran Hospital. Lutheran and Dupont hospitals are under the umbrella of Lutheran Health Network.

Lorenzo Suter, Dupont's CEO, said officials always try to allow patients to receive care closer to home.

“Our ability to deliver this added level of pediatric specialization that's consistent with the high standards of Lutheran Children's Hospital is known for fits extremely well with our Dupont Difference,” he said in a statement.

A new pediatric inpatient unit was created on the hospital's second floor. The area features a pediatric treatment room and playroom. The staff will include a physician who specializes in treating children in a hospital setting.

Mike Poore, CEO of Lutheran's network and regional president, said the health care provider has a strong track record in pediatric care.

“Lutheran Children's Hospital has always delivered care with the knowledge that children are special people, not just small adults,” he said in a statement. “The expansion of inpatient pediatric care at Dupont is already benefiting from that solid foundation.”

Other additions at Dupont Hospital are 10 private neonatal intensive care beds, which brings the total number to 25. After the new rooms open, the existing ones will be closed for renovation and expected to reopen in the spring.

Construction is ongoing throughout the eight-hospital Lutheran network. Poore has shown The Journal Gazette spreadsheets that detail plans for $444 million in capital spending through 2022.

Community Health Systems is on pace to fulfill its promised $500 million capital investment in Lutheran Health Network, he said.

The Franklin, Tennessee-based parent company made the commitment in May 2017, saying it would make the investment over five to six years.

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