On May 28, Children’s Colorado, Colorado Springs turned 1 year old. As the region’s first children’s hospital, we had a year filled with new friends: from superheroes and professional athletes, to members of the U.S. military. The past year also came with milestones and challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
Southern Colorado milestones demonstrate community need
“Although we can’t celebrate with our community, team members and patients in the ways we had hoped, we want everyone to know the overwhelming gratitude we have for the Colorado Springs and southern Colorado community for helping us bring specialized, pediatric care closer to home for thousands of families,” said Margaret Sabin, president of Children’s Colorado’s Southern Region. “The milestones we reached this year truly demonstrate the need we helped meet to improve the physical and mental health for children in our community.”
Our 294,000-square-foot, 115-bed facility is southern Colorado’s first pediatric-only hospital. It provides more than 175,000 kids in southern Colorado and surrounding states with pediatric care closer to home.
Children's Colorado, Colorado Springs served more than 19,900 patients the first year
In addition to caring for more than 19,900 kids, here are some other milestones we reached the first year after opening our hospital doors in Colorado Springs:
- We served more than 19,900 patients from 54 Colorado counties and 43 states.
- Our Level 2 Emergency Department had more than 20,200 visits, 30 of those visits occurring on the first day of opening.
- We performed more than 4,000 surgeries in our pediatric operating rooms, designed specifically for children.
- In August 2019, our hospital system expanded the Children’s One Emergency Medical Transport team to reach more neonatal and pediatric patients across the state and nation.
- More than 70 children were transported by helicopter to the region’s first pediatric-only emergency department, with 33 exam rooms and 6 behavioral health rooms.
- We also added 16 new beds to the hospital to meet community needs and expanded our Briargate Outpatient and Specialty Care location by adding 32 exam rooms.
Kids and their families drive our mission
"After years of planning and determined work, it has been humbling to experience so many families trusting us to care for their child when they need it most,” said Greg Raymond, chief operating officer of Children’s Colorado’s Southern Region. “Kids and their families drive our mission here. Their arrival and outpouring of thanks validate the necessity of our hospital and our continued commitment to bring additional outpatient, behavioral health and urgent care services to southern Colorado.”
The hospital added 16 new community partners and participated in 100 different events, including hosting the ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 17, 2019, and a NICU Reunion for families who spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit. Most of the community partner events provided resources and education on health and wellness to families across the region with the goal of keeping kids healthy and out of the hospital. Events included hosting the Children’s Hospital Colorado Fun Zone for Rocky Mountain Vibes Baseball games and providing pediatric expertise at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Teddy Bear Clinic.
Pilot programs kept kids well
In January 2020, we launched “Building Resiliency for Healthy Kids,” a pilot program designed to improve resiliency in children through one-on-one health coaching intervention. Nearly 300 sixth graders at Eagleview Middle School participated in the pilot program and were integral in determining how more partnerships like this can be implemented to address the mental health and self-efficacy of youth in Colorado.
The novel coronavirus highlighted the ability to provide care when and where it's needed
“In just one short year, the pandemic has changed the landscape of pediatric healthcare and altered the needs of our kids,” Sabin said. “We were able to quickly provide families with resources on managing children’s anxiety and stress, heal kids who still needed critical care in our emergency rooms and address concerns of rising trauma throughout this pandemic. As we step into our second year here, we will continue to prioritize mental health. It’s more important now than ever before to help children build relationships, communicate about health and develop their ideologies on what wellness really looks like.”
As COVID-19 changed restrictions on personal protective equipment and in-person care, we ramped up our telemedicine infrastructure, and in April provided more than 2,000 kids in southern Colorado with virtual pediatric care and expertise. With a deep bench of pediatric infectious diseases experts, we also provided numerous resources to community providers, including weekly virtual town halls; COVID-19 podcasts, FAQs and patient handouts; drive-thru COVID-19 testing for symptomatic clinic staff, patients and families; as well as assistance with decontaminating N95 masks.
Volunteers and donations kept patients' spirits up
As a nonprofit hospital, we depend on the generosity of the community to provide world-class pediatric care every day, especially as we continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic.
- During the past year, we onboarded more than 300 volunteers who served more than 8,500 volunteer hours. Of that, more than 2,100 hours were spent cuddling babies in our Level III NICU.
- We received nearly 300 single gifts-in-kind, from toy donations to an outdoor playground in the Sibling Creative Play Center, which bring much-needed entertainment and distraction to patients and their siblings while at the hospital.
- In 2019 alone, there were more than 2,400 donors to the Southern Colorado Children’s Colorado Foundation. At the start of 2020, the community rallied to support the Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief campaign that provided toys and comfort to kids isolated in the hospital and funded efforts such as the drive-thru testing unit built for community providers and families.
Want to celebrate? You can send a birthday present by making a donation to improve the health of children in Southern Colorado.