New Sky Ridge Pediatric ER combines child focus with critical care | by Debra Melani

Sky Ridge medical center pediatric ER

Posted on Thu, Jan 28, 2016

Most parents will notice the vibrant-colored walls, whimsical artwork and intimate family areas of Sky Ridge Medical Center’s new Pediatric Emergency Department when it opens on Feb. 15.

As with most of the hospital’s buildings, the architecture can impress visitors when they first step through the doors. But what they won’t see at first glance, and what matters most to the staff, is the experience, education and dedication to children behind the pediatric team.

“It’s not just that we have the latest equipment, which we do, or that we have great artwork, which we do, or that it’s a child-friendly place, which it is,” says Tamera Martin, Sky Ridge Pediatric Service Line director. “It’s about the care. It’s about the physicians, surgeons, nurses and therapists who are all specially trained to care for pediatric patients, because that’s what’s really important to parents and to us,” Martin says.

sky ridge ER opening“We are going to be doing some amazing things here,” says Dr. Dave Stocker, medical director for the new, 11-bed dedicated Pediatric ER focused solely on young patients, from newborn to age 17. “My goal is to bring in the best people from around the country and provide the right medical equipment and the right expertise to provide the highest-quality care for pediatric patients close to home.”

Here’s a quick snapshot of some of what the new facility will bring to its patient families:

Mommy’s here

Unlike traditional ERs, the department will house five observation rooms that not only welcome Mom and Dad; they do it with high-comfort style. Private bathrooms, sleeping areas and recliners at bedside are some of the amenities that will allow families with children who need a longer period of medical care but do not need hospital admission to stay comfortable and close.

MMJ Labs, LLC Buzzy Bee

The “Buzzy” bee, a favorite prop of Sky Ridge Medical Center’s pediatric staff, vibrates and cools while taking kids’ attention away from medical procedures.

It’s in the details

Highly trained in medicating sick or injured kids, staff members know how critical proper dosing is with their smaller patients. Many checks and balances ensure safety, including the Artemis System, an electronic program designed to speed up calculations and prevent mistakes. Focused on keeping their little patients’ ER experience as pain-free as possible, staff members also use everything from words to props, such as toys and iPads, for drug-free pain distraction.

Child life specialist on board

Sky Ridge also offers a child life specialist, a professional trained in child development who focuses on keeping life as normal as possible for children in challenging environments. These family-centered experts help prepare and educate child patients and ensure effective coping through play and self-expression activities, all while heeding each family’s emotional, developmental and cultural needs.

The doctor is in

The pediatric focus goes beyond the new ER, with the Evergreen Medical Office Building that houses the ER soon to be home to a multi-specialty suite of pediatric providers. Subspecialists include those in: surgery, anesthesiology, orthopedics, radiology, urology, neurology, neurosurgery, gastroenterology, oncology and more.

Sky Ridge Medical Center

Did you know? A national evaluation published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 concluded that having a high-level trauma center in a community can reduce deaths by as much as 25 percent.

It’s a family affair

Sky Ridge’s pediatric focus continues in the hospital for families whose children need in-patient care, with a team of board-certified pediatric doctors and nurses and family-centered amenities, including the first Ronald McDonald family room in southeast Denver. “This special space provides families of our NICU and pediatric unit a respite away from the patient room,” Martin says. “It has a kitchen, showers and laundry facilities as well as toys and activities for little ones who are visiting siblings.”


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