North Country Hospital recognized for Pediatric Emergency Care Excellence

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NEWPORT –– North Country Hospital has been awarded the “Always Ready for Children” recognition by the Emergency Medicine Services for Children (EMSC) program, a project of the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program. The award acknowledges the hospital’s exceptional readiness and innovative practices in providing emergency care to pediatric patients.

Dr. David Nelson, a pediatric emergency medicine physician from the University of Vermont Medical Center and leader of the EMSC project, presented the award to North Country Hospital on Monday. The recognition is based on the hospital’s performance in a survey conducted by the National Pediatric Readiness Program, which assesses personnel, equipment, procedures, and policies specific to children in emergency departments.

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North Country Hospital initially scored 87% on the survey in December and, after making improvements to policies and equipment, achieved an impressive score of 97% out of 100. Hospitals that score 80% or higher have been shown to reduce childhood morbidity and mortality by up to 50%.

Dr. Nelson highlighted a recent case in February where a child fell through ice and was found unconscious by bystanders who initiated CPR. EMS arrived and continued resuscitation efforts, and the hospital’s emergency department worked alongside a local pediatrician to stabilize the child before transferring them to the University of Vermont Medical Center. After spending time in the intensive care unit, the child returned home neurologically intact.

“This is an exemplary example of the community in action,” Dr. Nelson said, attributing the successful outcome to the hospital’s preparedness, training, education, and commitment to pediatric emergency care.

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Dr. Marc Bouchard, an emergency medicine physician and director of the emergency department at North Country Hospital, expressed gratitude for the recognition, stating that it acknowledges the hard work and dedication of the hospital’s staff in handling critically ill pediatric patients.

“This recognizes what oftentimes goes unsaid,” Dr. Bouchard said. “I think people all came together to really make an effort to improve our readiness because we see pediatric patients, oftentimes when they’re critically ill, and it’s not something that happens frequently. So practicing and being prepared is so much more important.”

The award also highlights the strong collaboration between North Country Hospital and the University of Vermont Medical Center, reinforcing their partnership in providing high-quality emergency care to the community.

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