Posted: 1:56 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012
By Bernadette Flores
It’s something mom Cynthia Casas wishes had been around the last time her son, 1-year-old Brandon, almost came down with pneumonia. “Right away I took him to the ER, and I had to lie say he was having a hard time breathing so they would see him, but I still had to wait for five hours, ” said Casas.
Brandon didn’t have pneumonia, but Casas feels a little sense of relief now knowing that if something like that happens again, she’ll now have a dedicated children’s ER to go to. It’s part of the new El Paso Children’s Hospital that sits right next door to University Medical Center.
“It’s a good thing in case a child gets hurt and go there and not wait like another ER, it’s something good, ” said Casas.
Larry Duncan is the CEO of the hospital. He says it was a group of dedicated locals that wouldn’t give up on the project that finally made it happen.
“A concerned group of citizens, and especially the pediatricians got together and said this is unconscionable, and we need to have this happen, ” said Duncan.
Construction kicked off in 2007 when voters approved a $ 120 million bond measure. The hospital has about 120 beds and features everything from pediatric operating rooms to intensive care bassinets.
“Every patient a nurse sees is a child, every X-ray will be done by someone that does just children, not 20 percent of their time but 100 percent,” said Duncan.
The concept is family-centered care, so every room is big, filled with plenty of room for the entire family. Families that can now receive all sorts of care now locally, instead of traveling out of the city.