Dayton Children’s opens new hub of medical, social services

Dayton Children’s Hospital opened its new Child Health Pavilion Monday, which brings together different medical services into a central hub with community programs that address social needs that can lead to poor health.

“For many of our children, their path is full of barriers that block them from reaching the goal of optimal health,” Deborah Feldman, president of Dayton Children’s, said at the grand opening.

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Some of the services to be housed at the Pavilion include:

* Dayton Children’s Pediatrics, which has expanded clinical space;

* a comprehensive medical home for children in foster care or kinship care, with specially trained staff;

* a food “pharmacy” and teaching kitchen;

* services for children with complex medical conditions;

* Dayton Children’s community engagement programs, including the Dayton Asthma Alliance, injury prevention, and healthy lifestyles programs.

Families of patients can also be screened and referred to outside community resources through the Family Resource Connection on site.

Feldman said it is important that the hospital links with outside organizations and that care doesn’t stop at the hospital, because so much of a child’s health depends on factors outside of the hospital.

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“So no matter what we do in that clinic room, if a child still goes home to no food or mold, they cannot achieve optimal health,” Feldman said.

About 150 people work at the center, which is on the corner of Valley Street and Stanley Avenue in Old North Dayton, about a block from the main hospital building.

While there will be a few newly created jobs, such as kinship care coordinators, the building will mostly house existing employees brought together to the centralized hub.

The center was first publicly announced October 2017. The $28 million project was financed with the help of a private donations, New Market tax credits and state funds.

Dr. Jonathan Thackeray, chief medical community health officer, said Dayton Children’s officials have presented about the new integrated model to other children’s hospitals, which are interested in their concept.

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Helen Jones-Kelley, executive director of the Montgomery County Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, said it’s important in health care to understand all the environmental and social factors that are affecting a child. She said this model at the center is important for treating patients holistically.

“You have the opportunity to see a lot of the things that go on with a child and the child’s family in a way that you don’t when you are in those very siloed health systems,” she said.

Ohio first lady Fran DeWine spoke at the grand opening and said the Pavilion “is just one more example of Dayton Children’s Hospital meeting the needs of children in Ohio.”

PODCAST: An interview with Fran DeWine

Dayton Children’s Hospital has been rapidly growing its services and adding to its facility footprint in recent years. The pediatric hospital has around 3,000 employees up from five years ago when it employed close to 2,000.

The hospital is building a new parking garage at its main campus and is preparing to open its first inpatient mental health unit, which is part of a broader expansion of mental health services at Children’s.

Besides the growth in Dayton, the hospital within the last year opened a new urgent care in Huber Heights, an express clinic in Springboro and a consolidated hub of medical services in Troy.

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