The Children’s Hospital Association of Texas (CHAT) says children’s hospitals throughout the state have joined together to assure the public that hospitals have the capacity to provide care and keep kids safe while COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are increasing in some areas of Texas.
Children’s hospitals, along with other Texas hospitals, have created surge plans and can adjust their flow of patients to respond to the changing demands of COVID-19, the Austin-based association said.
“Children’s hospitals across the state are ready and available to take care of children” says Amy Thompson, M.D., CEO of Covenant Children’s Hospital in Lubbock and chair of the CHAT board.
CHAT represents eight not-for-profit children’s hospitals across the state, including the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, Children’s Health of Dallas, Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Covenant Children’s Hospital, Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, El Paso Children’s Hospital, and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
“Our member hospitals have increased telehealth services, purchased additional personal protective equipment, and freed up beds to accommodate potential patient transfers from other facilities to maximize capacity,” Thompson said.
The association said with new COVID-19 procedures in place and dedicated physicians, nurses and staff, the care available at children’s hospitals is safe.
“What strikes me the most is the immense responsibility we each carry to keep our community safe, healthy and well informed,” says Mark A. Wallace, President and CEO of Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. “Our priority is to comfort and console worried parents and families. I want them to understand that our hospitals are safe, and they can continue to seek care with us. We have the capacity, and most importantly the heart, to care for those in need.”
The association said children’s hospitals urge the public to follow safety measures including social distancing, wearing a mask and washing your hands frequently.
“We ask individuals in every community to take the necessary precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19. This includes social distancing and wearing a mask. We need Texans to do what they have always done, come together and protect the most vulnerable members of our communities,” said Rick Merrill, president and CEO of Cook Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth.
“We recognize caring for children is not the same as caring for adults,” said Chris Durovich, president and CEO of Children’s Health in Dallas and chair of the Texas Hospital Association’s Board of Trustees. “The trust families place in us to care for their children is why we continue to take every precaution to prioritize the health and safety of our patients, their families and our colleagues. We have been, and remain prepared, to continue providing care for the children of Texas, especially during this unprecedented time.”
– FWBP Staff