Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Virgil E. Cooper Jr. Pediatric Emergency Center Behavioral Health Unit to help meet the needs of young patients.
Located in the children’s hospital’s 24-hour pediatric emergency room, the unit will provide a designated area for medical professionals to provide specialized, emergency care for children and teenagers with behavioral health needs.
Nearly 20 percent of children aged 3 to 17 in the United States have a mental, emotional, developmental or behavioral disorder, according to the National Institutes of Health.
“The Virgil E. Cooper Jr. Pediatric Emergency Center Behavioral Health Unit will serve as an extension of Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital’s Emergency Center, allowing us to better serve young patients with behavioral health needs,” said Atrium Health Navicent Chief Nurse Executive Tracey Blalock. “The unit will also provide a designated area for care while we make preparations for any needed inpatient or outpatient services.”
Funding for the unit was provided by the Navicent Health Foundation and Virgil E. Cooper Jr., a former chief financial officer for the Medical Center of Central Georgia, and an emeritus member of the Navicent Health Foundation Board of Directors.
“Mr. Cooper has provided invaluable support for our health care system for many years, both in his capacity as chief financial officer and as a member of the Navicent Health Foundation Board. We are thankful for his generous donation which will allow Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital to better serve young patients with behavioral health needs. To recognize this gift, and as a token of our thanks, the unit has been named in his honor,” said Navicent Health Foundation President Ellen Johnson.
As the only dedicated pediatric facility in central and south Georgia, and one of the most comprehensive in the state, Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital has the only dedicated pediatric emergency room in the area, and also provides care in general pediatrics, pediatric critical care, surgery, neonatal intensive care and outpatient services. The hospital also serves as the primary teaching site for the Department of Pediatrics at the Mercer University School of Medicine.
The Pediatric Emergency Center was designed specifically for children and families, and is staffed by board-certified pediatric specialists. Located at 888 Pine Street in Macon, care is available 24 hours a day.
For more information about services for children, visit childrenshospitalnh.org.