Akron Children’s to operate pediatric unit at St. Joseph

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — St. Joseph Health Center’s pediatric unit and special care nursery will begin to be operated by Akron Children’s Hospital later this year, according to an agreement signed by the hospitals.

St. Joseph Health Center in Warren has a seven-bed pediatric and six-bed special care nursery, according to a news release sent by Humility of Health Partners, which operates St. Joseph Health Center and St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown and Boardman.

“St. Joseph is proud to bring Akron Children’s advanced pediatric and neonatal services to Trumbull County,” said Kathy Cook, president of St. Joseph Health Center, in the release. “This relationship will build upon St. Joseph’s strong pediatric program and make it easier for Trumbull County families to access a full range of pediatric services.”

The transition is expected to be seamless for patients and families.

“We recognize the need to bring Akron Children’s pediatric expertise closer to where our families live, and we are pleased to partner with St. Joseph Health Center to provide this care to families in Trumbull County,” said Shawn Lyden, executive vice president of Akron Children’s Hospital. “This will allow us another way to fulfill our promise to care for all children as we would our own and to work tirelessly so all children can reach their full potential.”

The plan will upgrade the special care nursery from Level I to Level II to serve higher-acuity babies. A Level II nursery is able to care for babies born up to 8 weeks premature (at or greater than 32 weeks gestation), who weigh at least 3 lbs. and who are physiologically immature, such as those who have breathing problems or are unable to feed orally.

“Since I have worked closely with the obstetricians and pediatricians for more than 20 years, I am excited to continue the collaboration with St. Joseph Health Center and enhance the care of our young patients closer to home,” said Dr. Elena Rossi, neonatologist and associate chair of pediatrics for Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.

Akron Children’s and St. Joseph Health Center are working collaboratively to integrate quality monitoring and performance improvement programs, bringing together the best of both organizations. Akron Children’s also operates pediatric units at Aultman Hospital in Canton and East Liverpool City Hospital in East Liverpool.

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