Whittier Hospital's pediatric unit named one of the best in California

February 2, 2010

By Sandra T. Molina - Whittier Daily News

Whittier Hospital Medical Center's 22-bed pediatric sub-acute care unit has received accolades in the February issue of U.S. News & World Report.

The magazine ranks the center among the top 14 skilled nursing facilities in California.

The hospital's pediatric sub-acute care unit serves long-term patients under 21 years of age who need 24-hour medical care.

The center received a five-star rating overall, and 14 out of a possible 15 stars in three subcategories: health inspections, nursing staff and measures of care. We're very proud of this achievement," said Howard Ternes, chief executive officer of Whittier Hospital. "To be listed among California's best facilities is a hallmark for our entire team."

The Whittier Hospital unit, which deals mostly with respiratory illnesses and neurological impairment, is one of only 173 facilities nationwide to receive a five-star rating.

The rankings were based on Nursing Home Compare, a
program managed by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

CMMS analyzes information on all programs enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid and gives a rating according to their standards.

"This is a great team, and I am proud their hard work has been recognized," said Kim Mashburn, director of nurses and the pediatric unit.

She said the top two reasons for the unit's success is the
longevity of nurses and their devotion to patients.
"The continuity of care by the same people is important,"
Mashburn said.

As such, she said, the nurses treat the patients "like their own children."

This measure of treatment helps to create a bond with the parents of the children.

"We work as a team," Mashburn said.

And the support the unit gets from the hospital is also vital to its success.

"There are only about seven or eight units of this kind in the state, and that's only possible because the hospital backs our program," Mashburn said.

The center also received commendation in the comprehensive report, which showed its nursing staff provides four times more personal attention per resident than the national average.

Its quality measures were ranked above both state and national averages.

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