New children's emergency center to open in Southeast

Soon, the sickest kids in Southeast get world-class emergency care without having to be taken across the city.

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For the first time ever, a children's emergency room is opening east of the Anacostia River.

The brand new pediatric emergency unit is opening at the United Medical Center.

"Instead of having to take the Metro, take the bus to get to Northwest to where Children's Hospital is, they can get the care they need right here," said Sephora Morrison, medical director.

"We're here in the neighborhood, in everybody's back yard, so we've given the people in this community a closer place to meet children and have the care that children need," said Karen Good, nurse manager.

The 14-bed, state-of-the-art department will be owned and operated by the Children's National Medical Center. And it will have almost everything the main campus has in Northwest.

"We have the same physicians, many of the same nurses, we have new staff, too, who have come from all over the country," Good said.

And for the most severe cases, there's a helicopter.

"In the event that they do need a child who needs to be on the main campus in the sense that they need to be admitted to the hospital, we do have the capability to transport those patients directly to Children's," Morrison said.

Five thousand children are already treated annually at United. an additional 10,000 are referred to Children's National main campus. The new department will be one of only two pediatric emergency units in the city. And doctors anticipate treating 15,000 patients a year.

"If they're having an asthma attack, they're having sickle cell crisis--or anything like that, this is where you come," Good said.

"They can get access to the excellent care thats provided at Children's Hospital, right in their backyard essentially," Morrison said.

A celebration ceremony will take place Thursday evening. The center will open Tuesday at 7a.m.

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