WVU Medicine Children’s opens Pediatric Emergency Center

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A collaboration between WVU Medicine Children’s and the WVU Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital will enhance pediatric care for the region.

Housed in a separate location within the Emergency Department at Ruby Memorial, the Pediatric Emergency Center features four, state-of-the-art rooms, equipped and decorated for pediatric emergency care.

The center is one of two specialized pediatric emergency care operations in the state, according to Ian B. K. Martin, M.D., M.B.A., chair of the WVU Department of Emergency Medicine, and J. Philip Saul, M.D., executive vice president of WVU Medicine Children’s. Physicians, nurses, and advanced practice providers trained in the care of children staff the new center.

A search is underway for the inaugural pediatric emergency medicine division chief and pediatric emergency center medical director. This recruit will help formalize services and coordinate pediatric emergency care throughout the WVU Medicine-West Virginia University Health System, Dr. Saul said.

“We’ve always had quality emergency care, but we wanted to have an area dedicated to pediatric patients so they’re not mixed in with adult patients,” Saul said. “It’s a joint effort of WVU Medicine Children’s and the WVU Department of Emergency Medicine, which we think will be a great resource for families in the region.”

Saul said Dr. Martin has been “strongly supportive” and instrumental in the creation of the new facility.

“While the Pediatric Emergency Center finds its academic and clinical homes in the WVU Department of Emergency Medicine, this endeavor would have been nearly impossible without the help and leadership of our colleagues and friends in WVU Medicine Children’s,” Martin said.

For now, the new Pediatric Emergency Center will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; these hours coincide with the greatest demand. 

Martin said the institution hopes to extend the hours of operation as patient volumes increase.

“The goal is to have a 24-hour, 365-day, full pediatric emergency service,” Saul said.