Denton hospital to open first pediatric section

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After several months of renovation, a portion of the fourth floor at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton will reopen on Monday as a pediatric unit, the first pediatric hospital unit in Denton.

Physicians from Cook Children’s Health Care System will provide medical services for the unit, and the hospital has hired 12 specialized pediatric nurses who will work together to provide care 24 hours a day.

The hospital has always provided care for children, but the addition of a dedicated unit will increase the available care for youth and keep them closer to home, said Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton president Stan Morton. The hospital staff conducts regular surveys of community needs, and they saw a need for a local pediatric unit, he said.

“I do think it’s exciting for the community to have this resource,” Morton said. “I think it helps us with our mission to improve the health in our community, and by being able to provide these services to a patient population that was leaving Denton for inpatient pediatric care.”

There will be 18 beds for children, as well as a playroom and activities, including a Wii game system and a laptop with Internet access to help patients feel comfortable, said Deborah Bostic, who is the vice president/chief nursing officer at the hospital. New art has been ordered to decorate the walls, but it hasn’t yet arrived.

“It’s been fun — I think everybody’s had a great time [planning the unit],” she said. “When you talk about children and serving those who are most vulnerable in the community, it’s fun to think about all the things we can do to make sure they have a fun experience when they’re here.”

While designed for children, the unit is also outfitted to make sure parents are comfortable, she said.

There’s a special parents’ area, an adult chair in each patient room and sleeping accommodations for parents.

If parents don’t want to leave their child’s bedside, they can also opt to have a meal served alongside the child’s, Bostic said.

By increasing the range of care for children, the hospital can now serve any age group in the community, she said.

“I think it’s an opportunity for us as a health care system to cover all needs of a family,” she said. “Now, we can serve them from the time they’re born to when they’re a senior citizen. We cover the entire continuum of care.”

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.

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