US-based healthcare non-profit Allegheny Health Network (AHN) is expanding the paediatric services available at Wexford Hospital in Wexford, Pennsylvania.

The expansion includes inpatient care, orthopaedic and ear, nose and throat (ENT) services for patients in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh, as well as provisions for neurodiverse children.

It will involve instituting a team of paediatric hospitalists, paediatric-trained nurses, physical and occupational therapists and a child life specialist to provide comprehensive care for children and their families.

Opened in September 2021, AHN Wexford offers emergency, inpatient, and outpatient services to the community.

The expansion will allow the hospital to offer extended hospital stays for paediatric patients.

AHN Wexford will work with the AHN Paediatric Orthopaedic Institute and AHN Paediatric Institute to provide for children who need additional care following elective paediatric surgeries.

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AHN Wexford paediatric hospital medicine director Evelina Krieger said: “Paediatric hospitalists are available around-the-clock to care for children suffering from acute conditions, which could include respiratory infections, gastrointestinal illness, dehydration and orthopaedic injuries among others.

“As flu, cold and RSV season approaches, our team is on-hand to provide families with an expert level of care closer to home.”

AHN Wexford president Allan Klapper said: “Parents and caregivers in the North Hills can now take comfort in knowing that not only do they not have to drive into the city for pediatric care but, should their child require an overnight stay, they can be cared for right here at Wexford in many cases.

“This is a significant milestone for AHN Wexford and for our community.”

Among the organisations that have helped fund the expansion is the Starlight Children’s Foundation, a non-profit that helps hospitalised children and their families.

Founded in 1982, the Starlight Children’s Foundation provides programmes that include gaming, virtual reality experiences and the delivery of toys to hospitals across the US.