Dr. Robert Sapien Dr. Robert Sapien

Child Ready

UNM Program to Enhance Pediatric Emergency Care Receives Award

The University of New Mexico’s Child Ready Program – an initiative to enhance pediatric emergency care throughout New Mexico – has been honored with the Redefining American Healthcare Award by the Healthcare Leadership Council.

The award was presented August 13  to principal investigator Robert Sapien, MD, Distinguished Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, in a virtual ceremony. “It takes a village and it takes a community, and we definitely value our communities and their input in helping us do all of this,” Sapien said in accepting the award.

The Child Ready Program was launched under a four-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to work with communities and tribes to design, develop and disseminate a system of regionalized pediatric emergency care in tribal and rural areas, as well as border regions of the state.

The Healthcare Leadership Council is a Washington, D.C.-based collaboration among chief executives from across the spectrum of American health care. Its aim is to jointly develop policies, plans and programs to build a 21st century health care system that makes affordable high-quality care accessible to all Americans. 

Executive vice president Debbie Witchey said the Redefining American Healthcare Award is meant to recognize innovative solutions to health care challengs. “New Mexico Child Ready is an excellent example of one of these great ideas,” she said.

“Critically ill or injured children pose unique challenges to responders,” Witchey said. “Many of the emergency medical services and facilities lack the specialized equipment, training and access to specialty care needed to comprehensively care for these children.

“By engaging communities and providers at every level, these communities become child ready, and injured or sick children get the right care at the right time, in the right place, no matter where they may live.”

U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres-Small noted the Child Ready telehealth program has provided 93 telehealth consultations with families, resulting in 18,302 patient miles saved, translating into more than $2 million in saved transportation costs.

She congratulated the program for the awards, saying, “Your work to provide community-tailored emergency care for critically ill or injured children provides a lifeline for families across New Mexico.”

Categories: Top Stories, Patient Care, School of Medicine, Community, Education, UNM Health System, Features

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