LOUISVILLE, Ky. (July 19, 2018) – Norton Children’s Hospital has received national recognition for its treatment of children with diabetes.
The Joint Commission, a national healthcare accrediting organization, has awarded the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center at Norton Children’s Hospital with a Certificate of Distinction for Inpatient Diabetes Care. Norton Children’s Hospital, in partnership with the University of Louisville, is one of only three children’s hospitals in the country to receive the designation.
“The certification was made possible through our partnership with the University of Louisville and our joint vision to develop one of the most comprehensive diabetes programs in the nation,” said Emmett C. Ramser, chief administrative officer, Norton Children’s Hospital. “We are committed to providing the best care and support to our patients and families, and we are proud that these efforts have been nationally recognized.”
The certification demonstrates Norton Children’s Hospital’s focus on improving diabetes care, particularly for children moving between the hospital and outpatient care settings. Norton Children’s Hospital underwent a rigorous review to assess and ensure its compliance with standards on quality, safety, transitions of care, handoff communications, and other key attributes.
“We’ve seen the number of children with Type 1 diabetes increase dramatically in recent years,” said Kupper A. Wintergerst, M.D., division chief of pediatric endocrinology and director of the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center at Norton Children’s Hospital and the University of Louisville. “Caring for children with diabetes, especially those who are newly diagnosed, requires a coordinated approach so that patients are successful once they leave the hospital. By coordinating care on all levels, we can better support patients and families living with this disease.”
More than 1,200 children currently are being treated for Type 1 diabetes by specialists at Norton Children’s Hospital and the University of Louisville. Approximately 150 children are diagnosed each year, of whom nearly half require hospitalization in the “Just for Kids” Critical Care Center. Outpatient services are provided in the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center location in UofL’s Novak Center for Children’s Health.
In 2013, a $5 million pledge from the Lift a Life Foundation established the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center. The comprehensive, state-of-the-art center offers the treatment needed to manage Type 1 diabetes, including patient services, research, personalized education programs for patients and families, and telemedicine for patients outside of Louisville.
An additional $1 million gift in 2016 established the Christensen Family Diabetes Sports & Activity Program with the intent to provide individualized monitoring and education for child athletes with Type 1 diabetes, as well as conduct research into the management of diabetes in young athletes. Earlier this year, the Price Foundation made a $600,000 gift to hire a diabetes educator and a fellow in pediatric endocrinology.
“The community has truly rallied around patients and families fighting against diabetes,” said Lynnie Meyer, Ed.D., R.N., CFRE, senior vice president and chief development officer, Norton Healthcare. “It’s because of their support and shared vision that we have a nationally recognized program today.”
The Joint Commission certification is the latest recognition for the hospital’s diabetes program. Last month, U.S. News & World Report ranked Norton Children’s Hospital among the best pediatric hospitals for the treatment of diabetes and endocrinology disorders.