Continuing Work at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

by Allyssa Stevens

Background

Children’s Hospital and Medical Center (CH&MC) is a 145-bed nonprofit facility located in the heart of Omaha, NE. The first Children’s hospital was built in 1948 and set out with a mission to improve the life of every child, while never turning a child in need of medical care away due to an inability to pay. The hospital currently consists of 9 floors, which will expand and double in capacity in the next 2 years with the addition of the Hubbard Center for Children adding 9 additional floors and another 100+ beds. Connected to the hospital are the Children’s Specialty Clinics, which include 50+ outpatient specialty services. In order to address the need for primary care throughout the region, Children’s Physicians stood up 15 clinics creating the area’s largest practice of board-certified pediatricians, pediatric nurse practitioners, and pediatric physician assistants.

Cost of Education, Outreach, and CME Projects

My first month interning at Children’s has allowed me to not only observe the overall operations of the enterprise, but also focus on the Office of Education and the role the group plays in the region. I have been working on developing a costing model for a new outreach program for rural hospitals, as well as the overall cost of offering graduate medical education as a not-for-profit, stand-alone hospital.

CH&MC plays a vital role in the education of both the rural and urban communities surrounding the Greater Omaha area, as well as the region. The Office of Education (OED) itself houses learners from all walks of life including but not limited to medical students, social work interns, rehabilitation learners, pastoral care trainees, family services interns, and house officers. In addition to the learners that work in the hospital, the OED hosts a number of continuing medical education (CME) events that are frequently open to the public, including other rural and urban centers of care. This method of outreach will expand with the development of a new outreach program for Children’s to be able to go out and train critical skills to the surrounding rural hospitals.

Because CH&MC is the only specialized pediatric hospital in Nebraska and in the surrounding areas, it is imperative that this program grows on a regional and national scale to help children who may not otherwise have access to the care they need. In the study, “Characteristics of Rural Children Admitted to Pediatric Hospitals,” it is estimated that rural children often have higher rates of medical complexity and often reside in low-income and medically underserved areas (Peltz et al., 2016). Coupled with high readmission rates, children living in rural areas are often not receiving the care they require. With this program, Children’s has the opportunity to adequately prepare rural hospitals to care for the smallest and most-complex patients.

In my projects, I am finishing up the first draft of my report outlining a new costing model for the Office of Education. I am also finalizing some of the numbers detailing the cost of training interns, shadows, residents, and fellows. I have created a report detailing my research, as well as a comprehensive spreadsheet for expenses.

References

Peltz, A., Wu, C. L., White, M. L., Wilson, K. M., Lorch, S. A., Thurm, C., Berry, J. G. (2016). Characteristics of Rural Children Admitted to Pediatric Hospitals. Pediatrics, 137(5), e20153156. doi:10.1542/peds.2015-3156

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