Children’s Hospital Tuesday announced a $20 million gift from an anonymous donor to renovate its emergency department.
The gift — one of the largest donations in the hospital’s history — will fund a larger waiting room, 11 additional patient bays, new equipment and specialized staffing to the Maurice Marciano Family Foundation Emergency Department and Trauma Center, the county’s largest and busiest emergency department for children, CHLA officials said.
The emergency center handles nearly 90,000 pediatric patient visits annually.
“We are filled with gratitude by the generosity of this transformative gift,” said CHLA President and CEO Paul S. Viviano. “The emergency department at CHLA serves one of the largest and most diverse pediatric populations in the nation, and we believe that every child should have access to quality pediatric experts and expertise.”
The emergency department was opened in 2011 as part of the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion, and was designed to handle 65,000 patient visits per year. Nearly half of the hospital’s inpatients are admitted through the emergency room, so increasing capacity is critical to saving lives.
“With the new space and technology, the department will increase its capacity to deliver safe, innovative care, improve workflow and reduce wait times for patients, while also training the next generation of pediatric emergency medicine specialists,” said Dr. Alan Nager, CHLA’s director of emergency and transport medicine.
Another change will be the creation of a dedicated “child life” team, whose members are trained and certified to prepare and soothe young patients during difficult emergency procedures, guide clinicians on child-friendly care techniques and better communicate with anxious family members.
“CHLA’s emergency department is a beacon of hope for thousands of families in some of their most vulnerable moments,” Nager said. “In 2016, CHLA launched an ambitious initiative to improve the ED patient experience by improving the speed of treatment while delivering the safest, highest-quality medical care. We saw immediate success with measurable results. Now, thanks to this momentous gift, we will be able to invest in capital, equipment and personnel to better support this improved model.”
Construction is set to start later this year. Administrators say the work will be done in phases to accommodate normal emergency department operations.