June 13, 2017
WICHITA –The Wesley Children’s Hospital ER will get a new look and more beds as the hospital responds to steady growth in the pediatric emergency care, where roughly 26,000 children sought help last year for everything from sore throats to traumatic injuries.
Housing Kansas’ only verified Level II Pediatric Trauma Center and the region’s only children’s hospital, the busy pediatric emergency department has had a 30 percent growth since 2013 as more families depend on the expertise and high level of care Wesley Healthcare offers.
“Our high-quality care needs to be matched with our aesthetic within our facilities,” said Casey Guber, chief operating office for Wesley Healthcare. “This is another step to upgrade a welcoming and child-friendly environment that better fits our excellent care team and dedicated children’s hospital.”
The $2 million project will add four beds, bringing the total number of pediatric ER beds to 14, which Guber said will allow patients to be seen very quickly and provide for even more efficient transitions for patients with all types of emergencies, ranging from sudden illness to life-threatening injury.
The pediatric emergency department includes a staff of emergency medicine physicians specialized in pediatrics, as well as a pediatric-dedicated nurses and child-life specialists. The Children’s ER also includes access to respiratory therapists, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals who specialize in pediatric care.
“We want to be seen as a pillar for pediatric care in this city,” said Ashley Lunkenheimer, RN, associate director for Emergency Services for Wesley Healthcare. “Part of this expansion and renovation is being able to care for our ever-increasing pediatric volume. We have grown tremendously and we are seeing more patients than ever before, so it’s time to expand.”
The renovation will also align the pediatric emergency department with the same décor as Wesley Children’s Hospital, so young patients and their families will experience the same look and feel in the ER that they’ll get in the hospital.
“We want it to be a seamless transition for children so that they know they have as special place in the ER as they do upstairs,” Lunkenheimer said.
Renovation are expected to begin later this summer of fall. Construction is expected to last 12 to 18 months.