ChristianaCare is working on a plan to create a pediatric care center in Christiana, with a hospital representative saying that “plans are not yet final.”
News of the plan became public when it was listed on the agenda of the Feb. 25 meeting of the Delaware Health Resources Board. To avoid duplicative or wasteful services, Delaware requires major healthcare expenses to be reviewed. But no vote was needed, Delaware Business Times reported, because it doesn’t meet the threshold on cost or reallocation of hospital beds.
“Plans are not final yet for the Pediatric Care Center at the Center for Women’s & Children’s Health at Christiana Hospital, which is being designed to increase our ability to provide comprehensive family care and an exceptional experience for pediatric patients and their families,” Hiran J. Ratnayake, the hospital’s senior manager of media relations, wrote in an email on Wednesday. “We are unable to comment further at this time.”
The hospital plans to spend $3.6 million to renovate space for “short-stay inpatient and non-scheduled emergent ambulatory care” and 14 hospital beds, the Times reported in its coverage of the meeting.
The center would be on ChristianaCare’s main campus, just 11 miles from Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Delaware’s only pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center.
That proximity wasn’t part of of the decision process, noted Cheryl Heiks, a health resources board member. “I think it’s a very smart move,” she said, the Times reported. “But I just think there’s different pieces in this, like maybe how our regulations are made.”
Representatives of Nemours did not respond to a request for comment.
Nemours last year expanded to BayHealth’s new Milford campus, starting with primary and senior care services. Additional specialty, therapy and imaging services are scheduled to open in this spring.
Dr. David Paul, ChristianaCare’s pediatrics department chair, told the Times that the center will “increase our ability to provide comprehensive family care” and “help to alleviate some of volume in our emergency department.”