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HEALTH FIRST AND NEMOURS PARTNER TO EXPAND PEDIATRIC CARE IN BREVARD COUNTY

Nemours to provide Pediatric Hospitalist Program at Holmes Regional Medical Center

MELBOURNE, FL-Health First, Brevard County's leading healthcare provider, today announced a new partnership with Nemours, one of the nation's premier pediatric healthcare systems that will bring expanded pediatric care to the Space Coast. The newly created Pediatric Hospitalist Program at Health First's Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne will provide 24-hour Hospitalist care for patients and families. Holmes Regional Medical Center is the Space Coast's largest hospital with 514 beds, and the area's only Level II Trauma Center as well as The Heart Center. The new program will reduce the need to transport patients out of the region for inpatient pediatric care and help local pediatricians with necessary inpatient rounds that would otherwise limit their ability to see other patients in their offices. Several Pediatric Hospitalists are being recruited for the new program that will be fully operational by August 31.

"We are very excited to have a growing partnership with Nemours that brings their outstanding pediatric care to Space Coast residents," said Judy Killebrew, RN, chief operating officer at Holmes Regional Medical Center. "This agreement will further strengthen our ability to provide world-class health care to any Brevard County child who needs it."

Hospital-based pediatricians also called "Pediatric Hospitalists," one of the fastest growing medical specialties, are board-certified pediatricians who provide care for hospitalized children needing treatment for illnesses such as asthma, croup, gastroenteritis, dehydration, infections, as well as unexplained abdominal pain and persistent headaches. The Nemours Pediatric Hospitalists at Holmes will also treat children with chronic illnesses and will provide Emergency Department consults and newborn coverage. The Nemours Hospitalist team will care for pediatric patients from the time they are admitted to the time of discharge.

During a child's hospital stay, the Pediatric Hospitalist may also serve as an attending physician overseeing the care the child receives while also providing careful coordination of services and communication with the referring or primary care physician and family, as well as any other consultants a patient may need. This sharing of information will be managed through the use of an electronic health record (EHR) that allows all consulting doctors and families access to the latest information about a child's medical care, test results, and plans for management. Both Nemours and Health First have been recognized for being at the forefront of EHR advancements and are currently collaborating to make a seamless connection between the two systems.

"Expanding the depth and breadth of pediatric services for the Space Coast region is consistent with our mission and we are continuing to fulfill the promise we made of expanding services for Central Florida," said Bill Winder, senior administrator Nemours Florida. "We look forward to our continued work together that could include health and prevention programs, as well as research and education that will ultimately lead to better outcomes for children."