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Prisma Health Children's Hospital celebrates 40 years

2023-09-28
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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Growing from less than 10 doctors to over 125 pediatric specialists, Prisma Health Children's Hospital has seen a lot of progress in the past 40 years. Thursday was all about celebrating those 40 years of service, including the fact that this medical facility was the first children's hospital in the Palmetto State. Caughman Taylor, the hospital's senior medical director tells News 19 he remembers the humble beginnings very well. "40 years ago, we were a hospital within a hospital and I was a resident, meaning I just finished medical school," Taylor said. "When we were created, we didn't have any pediatric sub-specialties. We did have a little small NICU, and we've grown to be a regional perinatal center for children, we've grown to be a pediatric trauma center, a cancer center, a neurology center of excellence." Taylor explains the original leaders of Prisma Children's Hospital visited Vanderbilt to learn how to start, and then began building programs slowly with foundation and systems money. The NICU that started with 12 beds, now has 69, and Taylor adds that they started serving 12,000 children a year, to now over 166,000 children over their 40 years. According to the hospital, they've received the designation of "Top Children's Hospital of the Month" twice by the National SPS Network of 140 children's hospitals. Taylor tells News 19 the hospital's next mission is to open the state's first pediatric rehab unit for kids suffering from strokes or a car injury by summer of next year. The hospital also wants to expand its emergency department and strengthen transitional health programs. Taylor explains that the emergency department was built for 20,000 visits and now they do over 30,000 every year. The facility adds that they are now addressing socio-economic determinants of health like food security, transportation and living with mold through community programs and medical legal partnerships. "We're not only the cutting edge of care, but we're sometimes the only option there is, and so we take that responsibility very deeply and we believe it's an honor and privilege to take care of children and that means the obligation to be the best we can be and today's about we're proud that we have lived up to that legacy," Taylor said. Prisma Children's explains that they are currently hiring nurses and ordering specialized equipment for their fifth floor pediatric rehab unit that's set to open in summer of 2024.

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