There is more to the University of Maryland Children's Hospital (UMCH) than pediatric beds and state-of-the-art equipment.
UMCH is made up of dedicated professionals, skilled at addressing children's unique psychological, emotional and physical needs. That is why UMCH offers children and their families an array of special services, some of which can't be found at other area facilities.
From our headache clinic and pet visitation program to our pediatric emergency room, we do everything we can to make the UMCH experience a good one for our young patients.
The variety of our special programs reflects our concern about the total well-being
of each child we care for. Because we realize that we don't care for our patients
in a vacuum, we base our programs on education, outreach and family involvement.
Click on any one of the special programs listed below, or scroll down to read about them all.
Headaches in Children Video Podcast
In this interview, Dr. Jack Gladstein, head of the Pediatric Headache Clinic at the University of Maryland Children's Hospital, describes the causes, symptoms and treatments for children with migraine headaches.
Using the Medical Home model, ASK provides care coordination for families of children and youth with complex healthcare needs. ASK’s goal is to simplify the lives of their patients and families and who see multiple specialists by providing support and access to resources. ASK serves as a single point of entry to the University of Maryland Medical Center and Children's Hospital Pediatric Specialists. Using a team approach in assisiting families with their child’s medical condition, ASK links families, specialists, and primary care providers. The program also provides education to parents and children, helps parents to coordinate appointments, and connects them to community resources.
For more information, see our ASK Program Web site.
UMCH is the lead agency for the Baltimore Safe Kids Coalition, whose purpose is to prevent unintentional childhood injuries in Baltimore City. In partnering with Baltimore-area fire and police departments, the Maryland Poison Center and area health departments, we strive to make safety a top priority for our patients.
Most common childhood injuries are preventable. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 14. That is why the Baltimore Safe Kids Coalition promotes safety awareness that focuses on avoiding dangerous situations and implementing injury-prevention strategies.
Children are at risk near any body of water, near many common household chemicals and when riding in automobiles. They are also at risk of choking on tiny objects, falling from ladders, chairs or other high surfaces and being injured in house fires. Even riding on bikes and scooters, rollerblading or playing on the playground requires safety measures.
Through its work, the coalition hopes to reduce the number of children visiting emergency rooms every year. Some of the coalition's safety efforts include an annual poster contest, safety fairs and regular child safety seat checks. Studies show that properly installing car safety seats and using seat belts correctly significantly reduce car-related fatalities and serious injuries.
The coalition is currently working on a grant-funded project to reduce Baltimore's childhood fire-related injuries and deaths.
For more information:
The UMCH Breathmobile is a custom-built pediatric asthma and allergy clinic that travels to almost two dozen schools, providing ongoing asthma and allergy care to children. The East Coast's first Breathmobile, it has provided ongoing asthma care to more than 600 children since 2002.
Inside the Breathmobile, there is a small waiting area, a testing area and two exam rooms. Onboard the Breathmobile, you'll find an asthma team that includes a pediatric allergist or pulmonologist, a pediatric nurse practitioner, a registered nurse and a driver.
For more information, see our Breathmobile Web site.
A hospital stay can be a stressful experience for a child. Children miss home and normal everyday life. They may experience fear, confusion, and unfamiliarity with events. Children deserve to understand what is happening to them.
With the help of the child life team, children can work on mastering these feelings and medical experiences through play, education and support. The child life team plays a crucial role in supporting children and their families by helping them cope with and adjust to the stressors of illness and hospitalization. Child life provides opportunities for building independent behavior and retaining self-esteem. They provide a continuation of regular daily activities to promote normal growth and development. In addition, the team offers diversional activities that allow for creativity and self-expression.
For more information, see our Child Life Web site.
Maryland ExpressCare for Kids is a program for children in need of emergency medical attention. ExpressCare team members transport young patients, by ground or air ambulance, from community hospitals to UMCH.
The first program of its kind in the region, Maryland ExpressCare was developed by Medical Center doctors and staff. The ExpressCare team is made up of nurses and paramedics trained in pediatrics. They use specialized equipment to monitor and stabilize young patients en route to UMCH.
ExpressCare delivers over 80 patients a month to UMCH, where they are admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), pediatric emergency room, or inpatient unit. Throughout the course of each patient's stay, PICU and inpatient doctors and nurses communicate closely with referring, community physicians.
The professionals in our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) protect our smallest and most fragile patients. Every year, about 400 infants are treated in our 40-bed NICU by a team of specialists who excel at caring for low birth-weight babies and babies with serious medical conditions.
Babies as young as 24 weeks gestation, weighing only one pound, arrive at the NICU in respiratory distress with underdeveloped lungs. Other babies are brought to us at full-term, but have critical conditions such as hydrocephalus or congenital heart defects.
Using state-of-the-art equipment, advanced monitoring techniques and sophisticated medication, NICU specialists help vulnerable babies grow into healthy children. Our NICU boasts some of the highest survival rates in the state. Survival for infants who weigh between 500 and 1,000 grams is over 80 percent. For infants between 1,000 and 1,500 grams, survival is well over 90 percent, and has been for more than a decade.
The Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) program prepares health care professionals to care for critically ill and injured infants and children. Developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association, PALS courses instruct health care workers on the best ways to resuscitate and stabilize young patients.
PALS educates doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, hospital personnel and other allied health professionals on the special needs of infants, children and adolescents. The University of Maryland Medical Center was the first hospital in the state to set up its own PALS program, and was instrumental in the development of programs throughout the state.
Our experienced pediatric faculty members and staff use interactive case scenarios and hands-on emergency techniques to keep the PALS courses lively and informative. Courses are offered every month so that healthcare professionals can keep their skills up-to-date.
For more information about PALS, please contact Karen Hardingham at 410-328-7532 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information contact the program coordinator at 8-7532 or email@example.com .
The University of Maryland Children's Hospital's Pediatric AIDS Program (PACE) offers a safe environment in which access to state-of-the-art care is available to HIV infected and affected children. The PACE Program is a comprehensive HIV care program providing HIV counseling and testing, well-child care, specialized pediatric immunologic care, case management, developmental pediatrics, pediatric psychology, mental health treatment, child life services, access to research and clinical trials, social work services, addiction counseling, nutrition consultation and outreach to families affected by HIV disease.
Services are tailored to clients' needs and are responsive to consumer feedback and emerging needs in the local epidemic. Our program is designed to address the unmet service needs of populations disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.
Charitible contributions to PACE are needed to fund program enhancements, ensuring comprehensive medical care for young HIV patients in an environment supportive of children and their families. To make a donation, please call the UMMS Foundation at (410) 328-5770, or visit the UMMS Foundation Web site.
The University of Maryland Children's Hospital is the first pediatric hospital on the East Coast to receive a certificate of distinction from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) for its treatment of children with asthma. The designation shows that the Children's Hospital's pediatric asthma program meets rigorous standards for excellent care. The Pediatric Asthma Program at the University of Maryland Children's Hospital is a unique multidisciplinary initiative that is designed to provide a comprehensive approach to pediatric asthma management in the inpatient, outpatient, and emergency department settings. The program is lead by a team of pediatric specialists and applies an evidence-based approach to the management of asthma.
Unique features of this program include the preferential use of Metered Dose Inhaler with Valved Holding Chambers to optimize treatment, minimize side effects, and reinforce proper technique. Additionally, the program places a strong emphasis on standardized patient education and promotes self-management with the use of asthma action plans.
For more information, see our Pediatric Asthma Program Web site.
Children's needs differ from adults' needs. That is why we have a separate emergency department for our young patients, with a staff trained in pediatric care. The pediatric ED, which admits about 17,000 patients a year, treats patients who range in age from birth to 19.
From the admitting room to the adjacent family waiting rooms, everything about the ED has been created with children in mind. The ED staff use numerous devices such as tiny, adjustable blood pressure cuffs that are designed specifically for growing bodies.
The pediatric emergency department has moved, along with the adult emergency department, to the new Weinberg Building. Although the two emergency departments share resources with one another, the pediatric emergency room still retains its own dedicated staff, specialized equipment and warm, inviting atmosphere.
UMCH is home to one of the first pediatric headache clinics in the United States. When it opened in 1989, it was only the second clinic in the United States exclusively dedicated to headache problems in children, and it remains one of the only clinics in the mid-Atlantic region.
Jack Gladstein, M.D., director of the pediatric headache clinic, sees patients ranging in age from 3 to 18. These children experience a range of headache pain, including migraines, chronic daily headaches and headache complications from other conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and abdominal pain.
Patients are often referred to the UMCH's pediatric headache clinic by their primary care physicians. When a child or adolescent comes to the clinic, they meet with Dr. Gladstein. He takes a thorough "headache history," performs a physical examination and assesses the best treatment options. Those options range from medications to relaxation techniques.
Dr. Gladstein is also an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He participates in clinical research along with other pediatric headache specialists.
To watch an interview with Dr. Jack Gladstein, in which he discusses headaches in children, click here.
To make an appointment with Dr. Gladstein at the pediatric headache clinic, contact Carol Johnson at 410-328-5390.
Patients from birth to age 21 with life-threatening diseases and surgical conditions are cared for in our pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Patients with special needs that require close monitoring also stay in the PICU facility, which has 10 beds for patients that need the highest level of care, and an eight-bed, intermediate care component.
The PICU is operated by a multidisciplinary team of pediatricians, respiratory therapists, nurses, social workers and child life specialists. End-stage kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders and asthma are just some of the conditions our PICU doctors and staff treat on a regular basis.
On average, patients stay about five days in the PICU. While they are with us, we work closely with their family members to integrate them into the treatment plan, and to make sure that everything we do is developmentally appropriate.
When our patients' conditions improve, we move them from the beds in the critical care unit to the beds designated for "step down", intermediate care. Unlike other hospitals, where the critical care and intermediate care units are separated and have different doctors and staff, care in our PICU is seamless.
The University of Maryland Children's Hospital's Pediatric Palliative Care Committee is an interdisciplinary committee comprised of doctors, nurses, child life specialists, social workers, and spiritual care providers. We have a two-fold mission:
Pediatric palliative care is family-centered care, which incorporates:
Each year, in the spring, the committee presents a Memorial Service to honor the children and youth we've cared for who have died. All bereaved families, friends and staff are invited to participate. For details, call 410-328-7752.
Related LinksSome helpful links with more information regarding pediatric palliative care:
Further resources for parents and caregivers can be found at:
If you are interested in contacting the UM Children's Hospital’s Pediatric Palliative Care Committee or would like more information, please call 410-328-7752.
If you are interested in supporting the development of this program, please
Kayla Reisman knew exactly what she wanted for her 10th birthday. Instead of presents, she asked friends and family who came to her birthday party to bring donations for the University of Maryland Children's Hospital. It was the second year in a row in which she made the unusual request, asking her friends to make a donation to a hospital in honor of her birthday.
Kayla got the idea after watching Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby. Before the movie even began there was an ad with information about the Peter Pan Children's Fund, an organization encouraging children and teenagers to support children's hospitals.
The Peter Pan Children's Fund (PPCF) inspires young people to become philanthropists through its Peter Pan Birthday Club. Children can get involved by registering with PPCF. They then receive a complete party kit, including ideas for decorations, games and favors. The birthday girl or boy must then decide which children's hospital will benefit from the party. When the birthday is over and the checks have been collected, the family lets PPCF know how much money was raised. The gift is often matched by PPCF, and later a check is presented to the hospital.
For more information, visit the Peter Pan Children's Fund Web site.
Not all of UMCH's visitors have two legs! Inpatients are treated to regular visits from some special four-footed friends as part of a pet visitation program.
UMCH strives to treat the whole child, both physically and mentally. The pet visitation program helps meet this goal. Animals can have a soothing and positive effect on children. A visit from a dog can increase a child's optimism, and even improve morale, ultimately making the patient feel much better.
Before a dog is allowed into the hospital, the animal must be evaluated by a veterinarian to make sure it is healthy, up-to-date on vaccinations and well tempered. A dog will only be allowed inside a child's hospital room if the parents, doctors and nurses have approved the visit. The majority of patients are delighted by a dog's visit. Their faces light up when they see a wagging tail headed their way.
Anyone interested in enrolling their dog in the Pet Visitation Program can call Pets on Wheels at 410-783-2424.
Reach Out and Read is a pediatric practice-based program that gives children access to books early in their lives. Our pediatricians work with families so that their children can develop preliteracy skills and a love for books before they start school.
Research shows that reading, writing and speech skills are intimately linked, and that these skills develop early in life. Research also shows that reading out loud to children is the single most important activity that parents can do to enhance language skills and reading ability.
Families living in poverty, however, often lack the resources to read to their young children. They may not be able to afford books or they may simply not know the benefits of early reading.
Pediatricians who participate in the Reach Out and Read program advise parents on the importance of preschool reading. Each child in the program receives brand new, age and culturally appropriate books each time their parents bring them in for well-child visits.
Reach Out and Read was started as a pilot project at the Boston Medical Center in the late 1980s. It now includes some 1,300 pediatrics practices nationwide. The University of Maryland Pediatric Ambulatory Center has been a Reach Out and Read site since 1997. We were the site of the kickoff for the first regional program in the nation. There were ten Baltimore practices participating in the program then. Now, there are 23 practices in Baltimore.
To find out more about this program, or to make a donation of cash or books, contact Dr. Virginia Keane at 410-706-5289, or firstname.lastname@example.org. To become a volunteer reader, contact June Winkler , Director of Volunteer Services, at 410-328-5600.
In an effort to save the lives of unwanted infants, the University of Maryland Children's Hospital is declaring itself a "Safe Haven," a place where parents can safely abandon their babies. Maryland was the 38th state to institute a Safe Haven law, allowing a parent to anonymously abandon a newborn baby without fear of prosecution, as long as the baby is left with a responsible adult, such as a priest, lawyer, or physician, or at an appropriate place, such as a hospital or firehouse.
The Safe Haven program at University of Maryland Children's Hospital will provide a safe place for women in crisis to bring their infant (up to three days old) without fear of legal repercussions. They can also call 1-800-243-7337. It is a completely anonymous and confidential process. The infant will be given medical care if needed and then be referred to Child Protective Services.
For more information, call Catherine Hewitt, a clinical social worker with the University of Maryland Children's Hospital, at 410-328-0841, or read our news release announcing the program.
Stork's Nest is a program that helps babies get a healthy start in life. Nearly half a million women fail to get the adequate prenatal and infant care they need each year. Stork's Nest educates women about the importance of taking care of themselves and their babies. The program also encourages them to seek medical attention both before and after delivery to ensure their babies' healthy development.
As part of the Stork's Nest program, young mothers at risk for premature delivery earn points each time they visit their doctors. They can use these points towards obtaining free maternity and baby clothing, nursery items, car seats and diapers. They are also rewarded for attending and bringing fathers to parenting classes, breastfeeding, following through on all of their well-baby visits and making sure their babies get all of their immunizations.
Established in Atlanta in 1971, Stork's Nest is a collaborative project of the March of Dimes and the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Our Stork's Nest program is one of 100 across the United States. We work with young women and low-income women at several of our community clinics, including University of Maryland Women's Health at Edmondson Village, Western-Penn, UCare at Open Gates and UCare Westside.