Here’s Why a Dedicated Children’s Hospital Is So Important

children's hospital

If you’re a parent, you know how scary it is when your child gets sick or hurt – especially when your doctor’s office may not be open. Renown Children’s Hospital is the only dedicated Children’s Hospital in northern Nevada and offers specialized care for little ones 24-7.

Children have special healthcare needs, so it makes sense for them to have a dedicated hospital to address them. Renown Children’s Hospital physician-in-chief Dr. Max Coppes talks about what makes a children’s hospital special.

Renown has an ER just for children. What makes it different than an adult ER?

Children aren’t just little adults; their bodies are still growing and developing, so they have unique needs requiring specialized care. Our children’s ER is staffed with skilled physicians and pediatric nurses certified in advanced pediatric emergency care. This means your child will have the highest level of support.

The difference starts when you first come in, as our lobby is designed with your child in mind. The 24/7 lobby has a child-friendly atmosphere with vibrant colors, toys and books. This kind of environment helps decrease anxiety that can accompany emergency situations.


Our children’s ER also has kid-sized equipment. We offer a distraction machine, games and movies to help children cope with what can be a traumatic experience, like getting an IV. 

Renown Children’s Hospital also has a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in our area. What kind of care do each of those provide?

We have a Level III NICU with 39 beds for newborns who are born prematurely, need specialized treatment or are sick. These are truly our tiniest patients. To best serve them, we have a specially trained team including neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, lactation consultants, dietitians and more who work together to help babies get better.

This unit has some incredible technology, like state-of-the-art beds that serve as both specialized incubators and infant warmers. We also have NICView, which is a secure, live-streaming webcam system. This allows parents, family and friends to bond with the new baby even when they can’t be at the bedside in the NICU. When families are ready to head home, we have a room where parents can practice all the care they’ll need to provide on their own. It allows them to feel comfortable while having the security of our care team still here to help.

The Wilbur D. May Pediatric ICU is the region’s only PICU, with 11 private rooms for infants, children and adolescents who become critically ill or injured. Following major surgery, many young patients receive care in the PICU.

What else makes Renown Children’s Hospital unique?

Renown Children’s Hospital is just that – a hospital for kids. We have child life specialists who help young patients and their family through the difficulty of a hospitalization. These specialists are trained to work with your child; they will help them cope with the anxiety, fear and separation that can come with being in the hospital.

Every week, we are fortunate to have special visits from pet and music therapy, as well as local community organizations who volunteer their time to put smiles on children’s faces. We also have the John & Sue Dermody Children’s Healing Garden at Renown Regional: This is a place for patients to get away and enjoy colorful art, play structures, picnic tables, video games as well as Teens’ and Kids’ Zones.

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We are northern Nevada’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Through this incredible partnership, Renown Children’s Hospital is able to buy the items we need most to care for our youngest patients. Thanks to CMNH’s fundraisers at retailers like Costco, Walmart, IHOP and Dairy Queen, all the funds raised in our community stay here to help care for our youngest patients.

You’re working to bring more pediatric specialists to our region. Talk about why expanding local pediatric care is so important?

Our community is growing quickly, and until recently, we only had a few pediatric specialists in the area to help manage complex childhood diseases. This meant many families had to travel elsewhere to get the care they needed.

Thanks to a generous donation by the William N. Pennington Foundation, Renown Children’s Hospital has recruited more pediatric specialists to treat children right here at home.

Since the summer of 2016, we’ve hired 20 pediatric specialists – including hematology/oncology, emergency medicine, infectious disease, critical care, kidney care and more. We’ve also added seven general pediatricians, with more on the way.

We’re also welcoming a new Pediatric Infusion Center at Renown Regional Medical Center to help keep care close to home for children in our community.

Renown Children’s Hospital

Whether it’s seeing a pediatrician, getting a sports physical or looking for advice, our care is centered around supporting and nurturing patients and families at our many locations. We have pediatricians dedicated to children who have experience recognizing children’s illnesses. They also have the knowledge of specific tests and treatments available for young ones to make sure your child gets the best care possible, here in northern Nevada.

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