South Florida Hospital News
Saturday November 17, 2018
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July 2009 - Volume 6 - Issue 1

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Helping Children Lead a Better Quality of Life

In her quest to make a difference in her community by helping medically complex children, nurse practitioner Barbara Sharief decided to start a pediatric homecare business nine years ago. Since then, she has watched it blossom to become one of the top service providers in the state of Florida.

Today, South Florida Pediatric Homecare Inc. provides home healthcare services to the largest population of medically complex children in Dade and Broward counties. They currently work with 132 children in both counties.

"The children we serve would spend their lives in a hospital in an intensive care unit if we didnít bring them home with homecare," says Sharief, the firmís president and CEO. "I saw this as my opportunity to help really needy children to have a better life. We provide a comprehensive healthcare service. Whatever service or equipment they need, weíll make sure we get that for them. We provide a more holistic and cooperative approach to service than any other companies out there."

Her company sets up an intensive care unit inside a childís home and provides around-the-clock nursing care for each child.

"What that does is increase the quality of life, decreases the infection rate, and provides them more of an opportunity to have a more normal life outside of a hospital," explains Sharief.

Sharief loves her job because they are able to give such a high quality of life to the children that it provides for.

"We make their lives so normal that they really donít realize how many deficits that they have or what they have to overcome because we make it a little easier for them," she says. "Thatís where I get my enjoyment fromóseeing the smiles on their faces and making life much better for them and their families."

On staff, Sharief employs 599 LPNs, RNs, speech therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and a medical social worker, in addition to 16 office personnel in both the Dade County and Broward County offices. The office is operated by nurses with a combined experience of over 40 years in taking care of infants, children and adults with medically complex needs.

Several of the nurses within the office are ER, ICU and Pediatric ICU Trained. The staff of RNís and LPNís who work within the home are highly qualified, intensely trained nurses with experience in the areas of Adult ER, PICU, NICU, ER, Pediatric Medical Surgical Nursing and Homecareóall who are dedicated to providing professional, concise, safe and comprehensive care to its pediatric clients and families. A nurse is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Sharief says that patients and parents can call any time and receive the help and support they need.

What makes South Florida Pediatric Homecare unique is its skill level.

"Most agencies out there cannot take care of the acuity of patients that we have," says Sharief. "Our patients require continuous care, constant attention and a higher skill level and quality of care than your basic homecare patient. That sets us apart as well as the fact that we have nurse practitioners like myself overseeing the operation."

The company accepts Medicare and Medicaid and most private insurances.

"If we donít have a contract with their carrier, because we are so specialized we can negotiate with them," adds Sharief.

As she looks ahead to the companyís future, Sharief says they would like to expand their services to include those patients who would need more socialization.

"Our short-term plan is to just continue to provide the highest quality of care as possible," she says.

For more information, visit www.southfloridapediatric.com.
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