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News from Blythedale

New Pavilion Opens

9/15/2016
Today, Blythedale Children's Hospital held a very special ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally open The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Pediatric Long Term Care Pavilion, a unique 24-bed facility dedicated to the highly specialized needs of infants and children who require extended medical care and rehabilitation. This extraordinary program and facility is generously supported by a transformational gift from the  Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation.
The event was attended by more than 140 guests, including Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation President Alexandra Cohen and Executive Director Jeanne Melino.
"We offer our deepest gratitude to Steven and Alexandra Cohen for their extraordinary generosity in supporting a program that will set the national standard for the way care should be delivered to these children," said Blythedale President & CEO Larry Levine. "Their gift was the catalyst for moving this important project forward. Steven and Alex have been amazing philanthropists supporting so many vital pediatric projects throughout New York to impact children’s health. Literally, hundreds of thousands of children are getting medical care because of their vision and generosity."    
The event was also attended by many government officials, including New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, New York State Senator Terrence Murphy, State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, State Assemblyman Tom Abinanti and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, all of whom offered words of support during the program. Attendees also heard a heartfelt message of gratitude from Darecia Pryce, the mother of a former patient who will be among the first children admitted to the new Pavilion. 
The opening of the Pavilion addresses a desperate need for facilities specializing in pediatric long-term care. Due to a severe shortage of beds in New York, these children often are sent to pediatric nursing homes in Albany or New Jersey, placing an enormous emotional and financial burden on their families. Blythedale, as the only specialty children’s hospital in New York State, has several decades of experience caring for the medically fragile child.  However, each year there are many children who, for a variety of medical and social reasons, cannot go home following acute care and/or acute rehabilitative care and require placement in a long term care facility. With the opening of Blythedale’s new unit, these children and their families will benefit greatly from access to a facility closer to home, and a specialized staff equipped with the experience and technical expertise to manage the increasing complexity of these children.
"Nowhere will you find a greater commitment to family-focused healthcare," said Blythedale Board Chair David Pedowitz. "Each and every one of our patients is the most important child in the hospital. That's how we think, and that's how we operate. Our extraordinary staff, and their exceptional dedication toour patients and their families, is second to none. That is Blythedale."
The Pavilion will serve patients up to age 19, with a projected length of stay of one year. The unit will serve the following types of patients:
  • Patients who require a longer period of time to be weaned from the ventilator;
  • Traumatic brain injury patients with ongoing medical, therapy and behavioral needs; and · 
  • Other medically complex patients, such as premature infants with feeding difficulties, congenital conditions or neurological disorders, whose families are currently unable to bring the child home.
The unit will be staffed by a full-time pediatrician who will work in consultation with a variety of pediatric subspecialists including pediatric pulmonology, pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation, pediatric neurology, and pediatric gastroenterology.  The comprehensive team will also include nurses, respiratory therapists, physical/occupational/speech therapists, psychologists, child life specialists, recreational therapists, and social workers.
Features of the new unit include 11 double-bedded rooms and two private rooms, all with piped-in oxygen, a spacious dining and recreation area, dedicated therapy space, an infant play room and teen lounge. An attractive courtyard includes play areas, walking paths and sitting areas for residents and their families.
Children in the Pediatric Long Term Care Unit will have access to education (through the on-site Mt. Pleasant-Blythedale School and Early Childhood Center), and recreational programming on evenings, weekends and holidays.
Family involvement is a key component of care at Blythedale, and progress toward goals (established upon admission) will be reviewed during periodic family conferences. An interdisciplinary approach to treatment is a hallmark of Blythedale, and each patient’s clinical care team will meet every two weeks to discuss the individualized plan from every perspective: medical, social, psychological and educational.
For additional information, please contact the director of The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Pediatric Long Term Care Pavilion, Maureen Desimone, at (914) 831-2582 or via email at maureend@blythedale.org.
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