Health Matters - Taking Care of our Community's Youngest Patients"

In 2011 Dr. Pia Myers was selected to be Medical Director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at NCH. Her appointment to the team of special lifesavers at NCH was part of the hospital’s continuing effort to strengthen the pediatric services and treatment available to the children of Collier and south Lee counties.  Her joining NCH has helped reduce emotional and financial burdens for many families by eliminating the need to travel to other regional pediatric health facilities for care. NCH is now better able to treat the serious healthcare needs of children right here at home.

“We needed a more established fully capable, functional, local pediatric ER to serve the 80,000+ kids in our region,” Dr. Myers stated. She goes on to say that there is a major difference between the treatment of children and adults, especially in emergency cases involving illnesses in children with congenital cardiac issues, medication overdoses, or even severe asthma. Children are not “mini” adults– they require age appropriate medications, weightbased dosing; and a child’s mental, physical, and emotional development are different therefore when diagnosing pediatric patients there are many unique considerations that must be addressed. Dr. Myers is double board certified in adult and pediatric emergency medicine.

In NCH’s ongoing planning to enhance pediatric emergency services, the Pediatric Inpatient Director, Dr. Debbie Lopez, helped lay the foundation for treating area children. She and her team have created a wellness legacy for Southwest Florida kids. In addition there has been an influx of pediatric subspecialists into the community including pediatric doctors who specialize in cardiology, pulmonology, neurology, gastroenterology and orthopedics.

“With these changes at NCH, the kids are now more likely to be evaluated and stabilized in the Emergency Department and then admitted where Dr. Lopez will be able to oversee them and request specialists as needed after diagnosis,” Dr. Myers says. “All of these milestones are for the benefit of local area children and would not have
been possible without the generous support of the community, in particular the 24-bed inpatient rooms of the MacDonald SeaCAREium made possible by a substantial donation in 2006 from Robert and Mariann MacDonald.”

At the 55th annual NCH Hospital Ball held in October 2013, the MacDonald family once again provided their generous support to the children of Collier and south Lee counties by making a contribution to NCH of $6,000,000. A portion of their generous donation has been allocated to the renovation of the Pediatric Emergency Department and will allow us to grow from five rooms to 12 modern state-of-the-art treatment rooms. A new dedicated pediatric resuscitation room will be added as well. These rooms will allow kids to be distracted during painful procedures and have proven benefits to enhance and expedite the healing process for ill children.

“All of these new features will provide improved health care to children in this community, enhance the services available at NCH, and make the facility more ‘kid’ friendly,” Dr. Myers says. “We are very grateful to all of those who have donated funds and equipment, and also to the volunteers - all of whom are advocates for children and children’s health,” Dr. Myers adds. “They recognize the benefit of this ER to our community.”

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Health Matters is a locally written, quarterly publication on health issues that matter most to our community.  To learn more about Health Matters or the NCH Healthcare System, please contact us by clicking here: Contact Us