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Health First and Nemours Partner to Expand Pediatric Care in Brevard County

Tuesday, Apr 5, 2011


MELBOURNE, FL — Health First, Brevard County's leading health care provider and Nemours, one of the nation’s premier pediatric health systems, today announced a partnership that will bring expanded pediatric care to the region through a newly created pediatric hospitalist program at Health First's Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne.

Holmes Regional Medical Center  is the area's largest hospital featuring 514 beds, the Heart Center, and the area's only level two trauma center. The new program will provide 24-hour hospitalist care for patients and families that will reduce the need to transport patients out of the region for inpatient pediatric care and also help local pediatricians with necessary inpatient rounds that would otherwise limit their ability to assist other patients in their offices. Several pediatric hospitalists are being recruited for the new program and it will be fully operational by August 31. 

“We are very excited to have a growing partnership with Nemours that brings their outstanding pediatric care to Space Coast residents,” said Judy Killebrew, RN, chief operating officer at Holmes Regional Medical Center. “This agreement will further strengthen our ability to provide world-class health care to any Brevard County child who needs it,"

Hospital-based pediatricians, also called “hospitalists,” are board-certified pediatricians who provide care for hospitalized children who need treatment for illnesses such as asthma, croup, gastroenteritis, dehydration, infections, as well as unexplained abdominal pain and persistent headaches. They also treat children who have medical problems associated with chronic illness and will provide Emergency Department consults and newborn coverage.

This team cares for patients from the time they are admitted to the time of discharge, and is part of a branch of medicine that is one of the fastest growing medical specialties. During a child’s stay, the hospitalist may serve as the attending physician overseeing the care a child receives, while also providing careful coordination of services and communication with the referring or primary care physician and family, as well as any other consultants a patient may need.

This sharing of information will be managed through the use of an electronic health record (EHR) that allows all consulting doctors and families access to the latest information about a child’s medical care, test results, and plans for management.

Both Nemours and Health First have been recognized for being at the forefront of EHR advancements and are currently collaborating to make a seamless connection between the two systems.

“Expanding the depth and breadth of pediatric services for the region is consistent with our mission and we are continuing to fulfill the promise we made of expanding services for Central Florida,” said Bill Winder, senior administrator, Nemours, Florida. “We look forward to our continued work together that could include health and prevention programs, as well as research and education that will ultimately lead to better outcomes for children.”

About Health First

Health First has been serving the residents of the Brevard County area since it was founded in 1995, with its roots extending back to 1937 when Holmes Regional Medical Center opened as the first hospital in Brevard.

Today, Health First is the only multi-hospital, not-for-profit healthcare system in Brevard County. This means that every dollar not used to pay for patient care stays in the county to improve healthcare services for all residents, including those no means to pay.All members of Health First's Board of Directors reside within its service area and provide oversight for a broad range of services and products including four acute care hospitals, multiple health plans, a multi-specialty physician group, outpatient diagnostic and treatment centers, a network of fitness and wellness services, and the only Trauma Center in Brevard County.

About Nemours

Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the two free-standing children’s hospitals: the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Fla., along with outpatient facilities in five states, delivering pediatric primary, specialty and urgent care. Nemours also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens,, and offers on-demand, online video patient visits through Nemours CareConnect. Nemours is a program dedicated to preventing reading failure in young children, grounded in Nemours’ understanding that child health and learning are inextricably linked, and that reading level is a strong predictor of adult health.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.