YONKERS, N.Y. -- Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center has announced its plan to accommodate 32 additional medically complex children who are dependent on ventilators, a project that will cost about $22 million.
This three-story addition will enable the pediatric center to serve a total of 50 ventilator-dependent children and will bring the total number of children served by the pediatric center to 169. In addition, the John A. Coleman School, which serves the residents of the pediatric center, will add two more classrooms (for a total of 17) to educate the residents.
“Before our groundbreaking Long-Term Ventilator Care Program began, families of ventilator-dependent children faced the cruel dilemma of having to relocate their child out of state and far from their loved ones,” said Patricia Tursi, CEO of Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center. “We just couldn’t let that happen and we knew we needed to repatriate these children and reunite them with their families.
“So in the compassionate spirit of our namesake, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and with the support of our sponsors, the Sisters of Charity, we answered the call to care for these children and their families by giving them a place to meet their needs. It’s been our mission-driven commitment to always respond to the unmet needs of New York state’s most medically complex children and their families.”
The pediatric center already has a wait list of almost 30 children and their families who are seeking admission.
“The program here is unmatched,” said Dr. Gordon Hutcheon, the pediatric center’s chief medical officer. "With the expertise of our interdisciplinary staff of physicians, nurses, therapists, educators and more, our ventilator-dependent children do everything a child who is not on a ventilator does. They attend school, participate in activities and even go on trips; these children are not bound to their rooms, and we take pride in that."