Lakeland Regional Health PICU Celebrates Grand Opening
by James Coulter
Pediatric patients will no longer need to be transported to Tampa or Orlando for critical care now that Lakeland Regional Health has expanded its services with its new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
Lakeland Regional Health PICU celebrated its grand opening on Sept. 1 with a virtual ribbon cutting hosted by the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce. The 12-bed unit will provide high-quality care and services to pediatric patients under the age of 18 who may need a higher level of medical care in a general pediatric unit.
Such high-quality care will be provided to them through the care and assistance of pediatric board-certified trained physicians and a dedicated nursing team, all of whom have undergone countless hours of training and intense simulation to care for these patients. Each of the 12-bed units offers privacy for patients and their guardians, allowing families an opportunity to interact with the care team members and stay with their children at all times.
“Other aspects of the care team include physical therapy, respiratory therapists, pharmacy, and child life teams who support the families and parents during their hospitalization time,” explained Lori Shea, Assistant Vice President of Women and Children Services.
The new unit shares the same floor as the facility’s regular pediatric unit. Both units are set within the eight-story Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children constructed two years ago and opened in 2018.
“When we opened the pavilion, this was always part of the plan to provide pediatric intensive care unit,” said Shea. “It was always a vision of Lakeland Regional Health and the community to be able to provide a higher level of services to children and the community, so with that, it does entail a lot of planning to ensure we deliver the highest level and quality of care.”
As the only PICU in Polk County, their new unit allows Lakeland Regional machines and monitoring equipment as are normally available within adult ICU designated for our pediatric and adolescent patients. No longer will they be required to be transported to hospitals in other cities. Now they will be able to receive proper care in their community.
“I think our ability at Lakeland Regional Health to serve the community and families at Polk County is really what the mission of this new unit is,” Shea said. “This allows us the ability to serve the community and to keep patients and families local…[and] to go on to support the needs of the children who need a little higher medical care than previously being delivered here in the Lakeland and Polk County community.”
Lakeland Regional Health PICU is located at 1324 Lakeland Hills Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33805. For more information, visit their website at: https://mylrh.org/pavilion/