The American College of Surgeons (ACS) awarded University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital verification as a Level 1 children’s surgery center, making it the only children’s hospital in Iowa to be designated at the highest level possible from the ACS. The designation was awarded after the hospital met certain standards and criteria. This includes leadership in surgical education and outreach, as well as a full complement of medical professionals to care for the child not only during surgery but before and after surgery.

Only 42 children’s hospitals in the United States have received this Level 1 designation.

Program standards ensure that children facing surgery receive care under a multidisciplinary program with quality improvement and safety processes, data collection, and appropriate resources provided to them as patients at the hospital, according to the ACS.

“What this means is that any child requiring surgery, regardless of diagnosis, can receive their surgery and treatment here,” says Joel Shilyansky, MD, surgeon-in-chief and director of pediatric surgery at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital. “When patients come here, they can expect expert surgical care, as well as before and after surgery care.”

Shilyansky says the hospital must work to maintain certain standards set forth by the ACS, including new standards that go into effect July 1.

“It’s an iterative process,” he says. “We already provide an excellent standard of care, and this encourages us to continue building on our expertise and teamwork, providing the best possible care for children.”

Pam Johnson-Carlson, DNP, RN, NE-BC, chief administrative officer of UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, congratulates the pediatric surgery teams on this new designation. “I’m very proud our pediatric surgery teams have earned this well-deserved verification,” she says. “This designation recognizes not only the surgical team but also every member of the patient’s care team; this is a multidisciplinary team award focused around pediatric surgical care. Their collective leadership will be working to maintain and improve upon these standards every day, continually focused on providing excellence of care for the children and families who come to us for their surgical care."

About UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital

UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital has been meeting the health care needs of children and families since 1919. As Iowa’s only comprehensive children’s hospital, we provide care for children from birth to young adulthood. Services range from promoting wellness to the care of general childhood illness, surgery, traumatic injuries, life-threatening and chronic illnesses, and developmental disabilities. As part of University of Iowa Health Care, the state’s only academic medical center, UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital also performs groundbreaking research to help solve the mysteries of childhood diseases, in addition to training the next generation of health care professionals.

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