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UMC prepares to open children’s emergency room funded by Children’s Miracle Network

Updated: Mar. 11, 2021 at 4:51 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A separate emergency center for pediatric patients is set to open in about a month within the UMC Health System in Lubbock. The $1.9 million facility is made possible by the Children’s Miracle Network and its donors.

“Our vision for the children’s ER is that we do want every family to be very comfortable, to make sure those children from start to finish feel that this is a space for them and is specific for children,” Dr. Brian Payne, Chief Medical Officer of UMC Children’s Hospital said. “From the hanging mobiles in the ceiling to the clouds on the walls, everything is supposed to be very pediatric friendly and inviting to them as they come to this ER.”

The emergency room has a separate entrance, lobby and rooms in the Level One Trauma Center. It was part of the wish list during the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon on KCBD in September of 2020. Thanks to generous donations, the work began to renovate the facility and it’s expected to open mid-April.

“If there’s anything I could say it is thank you to our community,” Dr. Payne said. “They’re the ones who really help us maintain the most state-of-the-art equipment for the region. Our partnership with Texas Tech allows us to have the physicians who are also coming in from different regions to help us provide better care than anyone else can, because of that advanced technologies and education they have. We appreciate that partnership because it lets them buy the most advanced equipment, the most advanced monitors that really help us to keep a better and closer eye on these children and provide the safest care that’s possible.”

The eight-room ER will house that equipment and those experts for unique and specific pediatric care.

“All of our different physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, child life specialists, each of them play a key role in this,” Dr. Payne said. “We wanted to make it an environment that was inviting and welcoming to the children to be here. It’s stressful. It’s an anxiety provoking event for families to need to be here. We want to remove all those obstacles that we can and to really highlight that those children, we’re going to help them to have a good experience here. We’re going to help them get the care they need through the excellent providers we have and the staff we have that do dedicate their time solely to pediatrics.”

Continued support of the Children’s Miracle Network will ensure the new ER and the Children’s Hospital are equipped to care for young patients across the region. Dr. Payne tells KCBD there are more changes in the future at UMC, like moving children’s services to the East Tower for more distinct care. For now, they’re excited for this ER wish that’s come true.

“We are very grateful for the vision and support that UMC has given us on the Children’s Hospital side of things so that we can bring these resources to really help children in a more meaningful way.”

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