Shands Hospital for Children at UF joins national network of children's hospitals

Shands Hospital for Children at the University of Florida has been notified that it has been accepted as a member of the Children’s Hospital Association.

Formerly known as the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions, the Children’s Hospital Association comprises more than 200 children’s hospitals in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Italy, China, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

“The inclusion of Shands Hospital for Children in the Children’s Hospital Association is a wonderful reflection of the stature of our organization nationally and mirrors the tremendous commitment Shands and the University of Florida has to the department of pediatrics, and to children,” said Scott Rivkees, M.D., chairman of pediatrics at the College of Medicine. “As a member, we will have even greater opportunities to expand the excellence of the care we are proud to provide to the children and families we serve.”

With 167 beds, Shands Hospital for Children is north central Florida’s only comprehensive pediatric facility that treats patients from throughout Florida and the United States. Plans include creating a separate children’s hospital entrance and locating easily accessible pediatric inpatient services on adjacent floors. A dedicated pediatric emergency room opened in July 2011.

“We create health-care settings that are friendly to children and their parents, but efficiently designed and staffed to provide optimum health care,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs and president of the UF&Shands Health System. “Membership in the Children’s Hospital Association has the dual effect of providing us with resources such as policy updates and analysis, information on best practices, participation in clinical initiatives and professional networking opportunities, while affirming that we are reaching our objectives for education, research and safe, quality care.”

The Children’s Hospital Association advances child health through innovation in the quality, cost and delivery of care. Representing 223 children’s hospitals, the association is the voice of children’s hospitals nationally. It champions public policies that enable hospitals to better serve children and is the premier resource for pediatric data and analytics, driving improved clinical and operational performance of member hospitals.

“We welcome Shands Hospital for Children at UF to the family of caregivers devoted to improving the health of children, and we look forward to its active involvement,” said association President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Wietecha. “Because of their singular focus on children, hospitals like Shands Hospital for Children are able to identify emerging trends and problems associated with the health of children and to develop treatment programs drawing on the expertise of pediatric researchers and practitioners.”

Children’s hospitals represent less than 5 percent of all hospitals, but they provide a disproportionately large share of the nation’s pediatric acute clinical care, according to the association. They are vital centers of education and leading-edge research in children’s health.

Formed in 2011, Children’s Hospital Association brings together the strengths and talents of three organizations, including the Child Health Corporation of America, the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions and the National Association of Children’s Hospitals.