what is a children’s hospital?

When you think about a children's hospital, what comes to mind? A building with walls, rooms, blips, beeps, monitors, nurses, doctors and other health care providers? Of course that is correct, but when you consider the provision of health care for children, MUCH more is involved. I have started this blog for several reasons:

Mostly I want to share my perspectives on child health care (pediatrics) in the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia with members of our community, other health care providers, students, residents, and anyone else who might be interested.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, I am hoping to educate all readers on what is involved with providing quality, excellent health care to children from neonates through young adulthood. I hope to post lots of information here, but also my opinions and reflections on any issues of current interest and importance to children and pediatric care. And that is what is important, they will be MY opinions and reflections, not those of my employer, my coworkers or my family. I am first and foremost a physician who cares for children, but I am also a leader here at Carilion Clinic, a leader within several national medical organizations. Therefore my perspectives will vary according to which hat I am wearing when I write the posts.

I hope that some of the posts will engender comments and that we can engage in virtual conversations and a sharing of ideas.

Recent Comments

Dr. Ackerman,
I am so excited about your blog! I think this is a great way to share information about the services for children that are offered here in the Roanoke Valley. I look forward to reading and sharing your information. And, look forward to hearing more from your conference.

Since your major role at the Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital revolves around quality, I hope that you will contribute information and opinions on how we are doing as well as how we can do better.

Thanks, Kim,
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I hope to hear from others who are both leaders in our Children's Hospital, as well as staff, patients, families, other providers in the community, etc. I hope that we can explore the nature of this village and what it takes to make it thrive, so our children, who are our future, can have the best possible chance to remain healthy.

Dr. Ackerman,
I too am so excited about the opportunity you have created to share information about Pediatrics with our peers, patients, families and the community at large. So many in our department are leaders in a variety of ways to be a voice for the children of our valley. Our Medical Village exists within and outside the walls of the Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital, and I am so glad that you are taking this step to grow our village in the name of children's health and well-being!


This is a great question and I too hope that with more opportunities to interact with a broader representation of individuals from our community we can begin to provide answers. Moreover, reminding our valley residents and those in SW Virginia of the dedicated, complex and highly specialized services we provide close to home is paramount to our mission.There are still too many families in our region who are not aware of our presence. I am hopeful this blog can help in that effort as well.

I have been intending to write this comment for some time. A key part of our primary mission as Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital is to serve all pediatric patients in need regardless of the scenario.

Allow me to share a case that highlights this issue as it relates to our pediatric critical care transport services.

Two weeks ago I received a call from Danville Regional Medical Center regarding a critically ill two month old who was in need of urgent transfer. Typically I would expect that transfer to be to CCCH (us) but the ED physician wanted to send the patient to UVA PICU and their transport team was not available. I did not question why he wanted to send to UVA but obtained more detail about the patient. The infant was unresponsive and had evidence of an intracranial hemorrhage per CT scan.

I dispatched our team immediately to assist in management and to transfer to UVA. On arrival by our team it was clear the infant had deteriorated and was now intubated after having developed seizures. Additionally the Hgb was 5. This infant was in trouble and still having seizures. Our team stabilized the situation, started a transfusion, managed seizures while addressing the ventilator and general critical needs of infant.

This was a high acuity and critical patient which would be difficult to manage in a PICU setting much less a mobile transport. The transport went well but the infant remained high acuity throughout. Upon arrival to UVA the infant underwent emergent surgical intervention and ventriculostomy placement. This infant would not have survived had it not been for our team’s skill and dedication.

Moreover, this case underscores our mission as a Children’s Hospital. We were available for that patient and this ultimately resulted in the patient’s survival. Our Pediatric Transport Team embodies our mission in this case and I am proud of their work and dedication. It mattered not to me or our team that we were taking the patient to another children’s hospital. What mattered was what was right for the patient in need of our specialized skills.

Thank you Pediatric Critical Care Transport Team!!

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About Dr. Ackerman

Alice Ackerman, MD, MBA, FAAP, FCCM is the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Carilion Clinic and Professor and Founding Chair of Pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Dr. Ackerman is recognized nationally as an expert in pediatric critical care.

She has been at Carilion Clinic since June of 2007. Her primary goals are to enhance the health care of children in the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia, and is actively working to do this both as physician in chief of the children's hospital, as well as through involvement with many state-wide initiatives.

Close to home links

Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital
Carilion Clinic Pediatric Services
Children’s Miracle Network
Follow me on Twitter
Pediatric Residency Facebook Page
The AAP website for parents
Just the Vax
Moms Who Vax blog
Parents Who Protect
Roanoke Times Medical blog
Running a hospital blog


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