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Phoenix Children’s Hospital Expands Services in East Valley

Oct. 1 marked the opening of Phoenix Children’s Hospital at Dignity Health Mercy Gilbert Medical Center. The new pediatric inpatient unit features 22 private patient rooms and around the clock coverage by Phoenix Children’s pediatric hospitalists.

“The opening of this unit is an important part of enhancing our geographic footprint and bringing our special brand of pediatric care closer to patients and their families,” said Dr. Katherine McDonnell, medical director for the unit.

The unit, which features 22 private patient rooms, offers around-the-clock pediatric coverage staffed by Phoenix Children’s hospitalists for children requiring observation or inpatient care. Children with more complex conditions requiring advanced care have direct access to Phoenix Children’s main campus where a full array of dedicated subspecialists and additional resources are available.

Serving children from birth to 18, the unit will include:
• 24/7 in-house Phoenix Children’s coverage
• An on-site pediatric inpatient pharmacy
• Clinical support such as respiratory therapy, nutrition, biomedical services, laboratory testing, radiology reads
• Psycho-social services including Child Life, animal assisted therapy, social work, case management, language services
• Admission and registration
• Family Financial Services

Patients can access the unit several ways, including by transfer from the Mercy Gilbert Emergency Department, direct admission from a community primary care provider or a direct admission from an outside urgent care or emergency department. The unit will admit children with numerous diagnoses, including bronchiolitis, pneumonia, asthma, viral illness, fever, and more.

The inpatient unit adds to the presence Arizona’s largest children’s hospital already has in the region, which includes Phoenix Children’s – East Valley Center, which offers specialty, urgent care and outpatient surgery, and a Phoenix Children’s Medical Group specialty care center on the Mercy Gilbert campus.

“We’re thrilled to be opening the new Phoenix Children’s pediatric unit at Mercy Gilbert today,” says Tim Bricker, president and CEO of Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers. “Children in our community now have access to a high level of pediatric medical care much closer to home.”

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How can you avoid the flu?

Are you looking for the secret to avoiding the flu this year? The flu vaccine effectiveness this year is 62%. According to the CDC,  a report of 47 states have widespread flu activity. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized with a bad case of the flu and thus experiencing symptoms of fever, body aches, congestion, and fatigue. Keeping a healthy lifestyle is the best defense against the flu.

* Eat five to six servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. The antioxidant power coupled with natural vitamins improves immune function to aid your body in fighting off infections.

* Reduce stress as too much stress impairs the immune system.

* Exercise regularly by walking at least five times a week for 30 minutes which will boost your body’s immunity.

* Get plenty of sleep and allow rest to ensure your body can properly refuel. Most adults require 7-8 hours of sleep a night while children require at least 9 hours.

* Flu shots are recommended for most individuals especially children, healthcare workers, and immunocompromised adults.

Shuree K. Oldehoeft-Ohlemann operates Arizona Mobile Medicine, a medical housecall practice striving to provide healthcare in calming, caring and convenient atmosphere. Contact her at (480) 766-0550.