Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2021 - 18

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Joining Forces to Advance Pediatric Health Care in South Florida
When it comes to children's health, opportunities for
collaboration sometimes arise that may be unimaginable
for other organizations and businesses. This is especially
true in times of crisis, such as the global coronavirus
pandemic. But the story of this collaboration started long
before COVID-19 first occurred in South Florida.
" In contrast to other parts of the country or even the state,
South Florida's healthcare market has not consolidated, "
says Matthew Love, president and CEO of Nicklaus
Children's Health System. " There are still numerous
independent health care providers, hospitals and health
systems in Miami-Dade County and beyond. On the one
hand, patients have a wide variety of care providers and
hospitals to choose from. On the other hand, efficiencies
could be better optimized in a more consolidated market. "
More than 1,000 children transferred
from Baptist Health to
Nicklaus Children's in 2020.
A few years before the pandemic hit the U.S., Baptist
Health and Nicklaus Children's Health System started
discussing opportunities for collaboration in the area of
pediatric emergency care. The idea that Nicklaus Children's
physicians could staff Baptist Health's pediatric emergency
departments at Baptist Hospital and Homestead Hospital
emerged as an ideal opportunity for both organizations.
Until that point, Baptist Health typically staffed its pediatric
emergency departments with outside physician providers.
Having Nicklaus Children's take this over was a natural fit
for both parties.
Once the first COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in MiamiDade,
pediatric emergency department visits dropped,
driven by parents' fears of their children being infected
with the virus, especially during the initial lockdown. Nonurgent
surgeries and medical treatments were canceled
and pediatric care came to a screeching halt for many
providers across the state and beyond. At the same time,
adult ICUs started to fill up with patients suffering from
severe COVID-19.
As South Florida's adult health care providers struggled
to deliver sufficient ICU and inpatient beds for people
severely affected by the virus, children's hospitals did
not see a significant number of children with COVID-19.
Health care leaders and providers in Miami-Dade quickly
found themselves in a situation where adult health
systems were flooded with COVID-19 patients while
pediatric care providers saw an unparalleled drop in
patient visits.
" When the pandemic first took hold in South Florida,
health systems came together for the community. We
exchanged best practices, experiences and approaches, "
says Marcos Mestre, M.D., chief medical officer at Nicklaus
Children's, who was closely involved in the partnership
negotiations. " The pandemic was uncharted territory for

Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2021

Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2021 - Cover1
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2021 - Cover2
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2021 - Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2021 - 2
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2021 - 3
Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2021 - 4
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Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2021 - Cover3
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