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Children’s hospitals have space and are safe for patients

To The Leader

AUSTIN, Texas – The Children’s Hospital Association of Texas (CHAT) announced today that children’s hospitals throughout the state have joined together to assure the public that hospitals have the capacity to provide care and keep kids safe while COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are increasing in some areas of Texas. Children’s hospitals, along with other Texas hospitals, have created surge plans and can adjust their flow of patients to respond to the changing demands of COVID-19.

“Children’s hospitals across the state are ready and available to take care of children” says Amy Thompson, M.D., CEO of Covenant Children’s Hospital and Chair of the CHAT board. CHAT represents eight not-for-profit children’s hospitals across the state, including the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, Children’s Health of Dallas, Cook Children’s Medical Center, Covenant Children’s Hospital, Dell Children’s Medical Center, Driscoll Children’s Hospital, El Paso Children’s Hospital, and Texas Children’s Hospital. “Our member hospitals have increased telehealth services, purchased additional personal protective equipment, and freed up beds to accommodate potential patient transfers from other facilities to maximize capacity.”

Children’s hospitals are taking every necessary precaution to ensure children and families are safe, including implementing rigorous testing and screening protocols, mandating stringent cleaning procedures, requiring masks, and practicing social distancing whenever possible. With new COVID-19 procedures and dedicated physicians, nurses and staff, the care available at children’s hospitals is safe.

“What strikes me the most is the immense responsibility we each carry to keep our community safe, healthy and well informed,” says Mark A. Wallace, President and CEO of Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. “Our priority is to comfort and console worried parents and families. I want them to understand that our hospitals are safe, and they can continue to seek care with us. We have the capacity, and most importantly the heart, to care for those in need.”

Children’s hospitals urge the public to follow the safety measures promoted by Governor Abbott, including social distancing, wearing a mask and washing your hands frequently. “We ask individuals in every community to take the necessary precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19,” says Rick Merrill, President and CEO of Cook Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth. “This includes social distancing and wearing a mask. We need Texans to do what they have always done, come together and protect the most vulnerable members of our communities.”

CHAT encourages families to bring their children to the nearest children’s hospital to receive necessary medical care for any conditions that will worsen without timely attention from a health care provider.

“We recognize caring for children is not the same as caring for adults,” said Chris Durovich, President and CEO of Children’s Health and Chair of the Texas Hospital Association’s Board of Trustees. “The trust families place in us to care for their children is why we continue to take every precaution to prioritize the health and safety of our patients, their families and our colleagues. We have been, and remain prepared, to continue providing care for the children of Texas, especially during this unprecedented time.”