April 1, 2020 – Nicklaus Children’s Health System (NCHS) and Baptist Health South Florida have signed a letter of agreement to collaborate in the weeks ahead with the shared goal of optimizing response to an anticipated regional surge of adult COVID-19-related hospital admissions.
Under the agreement, effective today, Baptist Hospital and Baptist Children’s Hospital will transfer all children requiring inpatient admission to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in order to prepare for the predicted influx of COVID-19-associated adult hospitalizations. This makes hospital beds, staff and equipment available for adult patient care at Baptist Hospital.
Baptist Hospital and Miami Cancer Institute will continue to provide pediatric oncology services; Baptist Hospital, Homestead Hospital, South Miami Hospital and West Kendall Baptist Hospital will continue to provide neonatal intensive care (NICU) services; and Baptist Hospital, Doctors Hospital, Fishermen’s Community Hospital, Homestead Hospital, Mariners Hospital, South Miami Hospital and West Kendall Baptist Hospital will continue to see pediatric patients in their emergency rooms. Any pediatric patients seen in the Baptist Health emergency departments in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties requiring hospital admission will be transferred to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
“In Baptist Health South Florida, we have found collaborators who share in our commitment to ensure area hospitals are in the strongest possible position to serve our community should we experience a sudden increase in demand for adult inpatient care,” said Matthew A. Love, President and CEO of NCHS.
“As a freestanding children’s hospital featuring neonatal, pediatric and pediatric cardiac intensive care units, Nicklaus Children’s is uniquely prepared to provide medical care for vulnerable children with acute illnesses and complex medical conditions. It is our hope that our collaborative efforts support Baptist in addressing the needs of the adult care population, which is most impacted by this pandemic.”
“The spread of COVID-19 is expected to challenge our capacity of hospital beds, staff and supplies. Addressing this demand quickly, safely and effectively is our highest priority,” said Bo Boulenger, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for Baptist Health South Florida. “As we prepare for an anticipated surge of adult COVID-19 patients, this collaboration will allow us to better use our resources.”
“We have a long-standing relationship with Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, and we are grateful for the collaboration during this particularly challenging time,” said Patricia Rosello, Chief Executive Officer, Baptist Hospital. “Through this partnership, we will be able to work together to provide excellent care for both our pediatric and adult patients.”
Mary C. Mayhew, Secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), said,
“This is a powerful model of collaborative medical response with hospitals coming together to meet the needs of their communities during a crisis. AHCA has been encouraging hospitals and large health systems in our state to seek such innovative regional partnerships in an effort to support readiness for a surge in adult care admissions.”
As part of the agreement, NCHS and Baptist Health will work to develop shared policies, procedures and operating guidelines.
The agreement follows guidance endorsed by The Children’s Hospital Association of the United States in consultation with the leadership of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and has been submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as part of the White House Coronavirus Task Force initiative.
About Baptist Health South Florida
Baptist Health South Florida is the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 11 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit BaptistHealth.net/Newsroom and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
About Nicklaus Children’s Health System
Nicklaus Children’s Health System (NCHS) is the parent organization of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, South Florida’s only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children. The 309-bed nonprofit hospital, known as Miami Children’s Hospital from 1983 through 2014, was founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International and is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine, with many programs routinely ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report. The health system also includes Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation, the organization’s 501c3 fundraising arm; a network of nonprofit outpatient and urgent care centers situated in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties; Pediatric Specialists of America, a nonprofit physician practice subsidiary; a managed care plan, and an ambulatory surgery center, as well as an e-commerce line of children’s wellness and safety products that support the hospital’s mission of serving the region’s pediatric population. NCHS is the region’s only healthcare system exclusively for children.