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UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg to Open Inpatient Pediatric Unit

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HARRISBURG, Pa.UPMC will open a cutting-edge pediatric inpatient unit at UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg, bringing the nationally ranked care from UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to families in south central Pennsylvania. 


UPMC Children’s Harrisburg, set to open in November, is a 26-bed unit, including 11 new, private rooms, with each new room designed for universal use, meaning children stay in one room throughout their hospital stay, with the appropriate level of care brought to them. UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh uses universal rooms in their cardiac unit and has seen higher-quality outcomes and high-ranking patient and family experiences, since it eliminates multiple patient transfers. 


UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is recognized consistently for its clinical, research, educational and advocacy-related accomplishments, including ranking on the 2020-2021 U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. 


“The unit and expanded care will augment the inpatient pediatric patient experience at UPMC Children’s Harrisburg,” said Deborah Willwerth, vice president, Pediatric Services, UPMC Pinnacle. “We look forward to growing services for our young patients and their families and increasing the level of care provided in the coming year.” 


The comprehensive care team at UPMC Children’s Harrisburg will be supported by specialists in Pittsburgh 24/7 through bedside telemedicine, offering real-time consultation with specialty care providers.


“Telemedicine at the bedside enables more convenient and timely access to pediatric specialty services,” said Chris Mmuo, M.D., vice chairman of pediatrics and director of pediatric hospitalist program, UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg. “By leveraging video conferencing technology, we can seamlessly connect to UPMC Children's highly skilled experts while keeping patients and families close to home.”


Designed with families in mind, the inpatient unit will include:


  • Age appropriate furniture, activity tables and computerized interactive displays for toddlers, school-age children and teens.
  • A lounge will provide a respite area for parents while their children are in the hospital. Dedicated, trained child life specialists will support patients’ psychosocial and developmental needs, working one-on-one with patients and in group activity areas in coordination with providers and families.


In addition to the new unit, UPMC Pinnacle will offer enhanced pediatric emergency care through:


  • Around-the-clock access to board-certified pediatric emergency medicine physicians at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh through video Emergency Department-to-Emergency Department consultations. 
  • Families in south central Pennsylvania can access UPMC Children’s AnywhereCare which provides 24/7 urgent care for newborns up to 17 years old by pediatric advanced practice providers and be found on the UPMC Children’s app.


This expansion builds on UPMC’s expertise in outpatient pediatric care offered through UPMC Children’s Specialty Care in Lemoyne and UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics offices throughout south central Pennsylvania. These locations offer both in-person and same-day virtual appointments. 


“As one of the top pediatric hospitals in the country, UPMC Children’s aims to provide the highest quality pediatric health care and resources to children, teens and young adults,” said Mark Sevco, president, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. “We look forward to expanding our services to families close to home in south central Pennsylvania with the help of our dedicated and compassionate physicians, nurses and staff.”


“UPMC Children’s is just one of the advanced specialty care services we are bringing to central Pennsylvania,” said Lou Baverso, chief operating officer and president of central region, UPMC Pinnacle. “We are continuing to expand services with UPMC experts and technology that will enhance our compassionate, high-quality patient care to better serve our communities.”


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