Expanding Children’s Services
Children are one of our most precious resources. Ensuring they have access to the care and resources they need to grow healthy and strong is a top priority for Providence Regional Medical Center and our community. Unfortunately, the need for specialized care for our youngest and most vulnerable patients is on the rise. More babies are being born early and in need of intensive, life-saving care—some requiring specialized transport from rural communities throughout our region. Behavioral health issues in children are becoming more prevalent than ever before, made worse by the isolation and worry brought on by COVID-19. Providing pediatric behavioral health services for our community is essential to early detection and intervention. The Providence Boyden Family Autism Center is at capacity. Expanding this vital program will provide life-changing treatment for children throughout our five-county region. Providence is making these key investments to provide enhanced services to children and families:
- Expanding Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and transport program to increase access for newborns who need specialized critical care across our region
- Integrating Behavioral Health into primary care at Providence Medical Group Pediatric Clinics
- Expanding services provided by Providence Boyden Family Autism Center so more children and families have access to diagnosis and treatment programs
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Babies born too early and too small need life-saving support offered by the Providence Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). More babies are born at Providence than nearly anyplace else in the state. Because of an increase in premature births, and babies born with complex medical conditions across our region, Providence is investing in the expansion of our NICU. We need more beds for these newborns. We will also expand our NICU transport program. The Transport Team responds to births in outlying hospitals, where critical care is not available for newborns, and safely brings them to Providence Everett. The transport unit provides life-sustaining support and is specifically designed to mimic conditions of a mother’s womb to ensure safe transfers.
Grateful Patient: Baby Quincy and Family
First-time parents never imagined their baby would be born nearly three months early. Quincy was born in Bellingham and needed immediate life-saving care not available in their home town. Providence NICU Transport Team quickly mobilized and brought Quincy to the NICU in Everett for specialized life-saving care. “We are forever grateful to the transport team and the NICU staff for their knowledge and attentive care.”
Providence Boyden Family Autism Center
Autism is a spectrum disorder that impairs a person’s ability to communicate and interact smoothly with others. Having a child on the autism spectrum can impact an entire family—especially when access to services are limited and can require months, even years, of waiting. The Providence Boyden Family Autism Center a Center of Excellence for diagnosis in Snohomish County, and it’s at capacity. Providence will greatly invest in this program by more-than-doubling the clinical space for the Center, resulting in a ten-fold increase in clinical hours. That means fewer children will have to wait for evaluation and treatment, and we can give more children and families impacted by autism the support they need.
Grateful Patient: Max and Family
Max’s parents noticed their son was not answering to his name, making eye contact or expressing any social communication. Once he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder the family started looking for help. When Max was 3-years old, the family enrolled in the Providence Boyden Autism Center 12-week program. In the beginning he would walk in, choose a toy and stay isolated in his own world. By the end of the program, Max was making social connections and initiating invitations for other children to play. “His time at the Autism Center really impacted his life and ours,” shared his mother. “The integrated training for parents was especially helpful.” Therapists equipped both the family and Max with tools needed to create a foundation from which to grow.
Pediatric Behavioral Health
Behavioral Health has become a significant issue in our community–even more pressing due to the social and mental impacts of COVID-19. Children can develop all of the same mental health conditions as adults but may express them differently, including anxiety disorders, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, eating disorders, mood disorders and schizophrenia. Unfortunately, our children are underserved when it comes to behavioral health resources. Providence is making a significant investment in pediatric behavioral health by integrating psychiatric, counseling, social work and resource navigators into pediatric primary care at Providence Medical Group clinics. The IMPACT program is a research-based, best practice that works with the child’s pediatrician to provide the patient and their family with the resources, therapies, and/or medication to promote the best health for each child.
Grateful Patient: Hailey and Family
9-year-old Hailey* struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a mental illness that causes her to have recurring, unwanted thoughts or fears. Several months ago, Hailey began rapidly losing weight due to irrational worries that her food was contaminated. She stopped eating at school and couldn’t focus on learning.
In the past, getting Hailey access to a local behavioral health provider to meet her needs could have taken months. But because of Providence’s new Pediatric Behavioral Health program, Hailey’s pediatrician was able to partner with an adolescent Psychiatrist to get Hailey the help she needed.
Her parents say Hailey is “just like her old self” now, and they feel much more confident in helping her manage her OCD.
*Name changed for privacy
“Our children are our future — and I can’t imagine a more vulnerable population than children with some kind of disability— whether it’s physical, behavioral, or social. We need to provide them with the very best care and resources at the early stages of life. At Providence Everett, we provide a unique continuum of services to children and their families from birth to 18. It is our mission to surround each family with compassionate care each and every step of the way.”
Tami Allen, Former Director of Women & Children’s Services