A Place for Every Child at Children’s Mercy East

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For this top-rated children’s hospital, success equates to continually improving the lives of its patients.

Recognized as one of the top children’s hospitals in the country, Children’s Mercy stands on a platform of creating a healthier world for children. This includes a cornucopia of ongoing research, education and exceptional care, all fueled by an unwavering passion to make a difference for patients and their families. World class care is routinely delivered by the specialists within this organization. This includes not only the main hospital, but also all of its outpatient clinics and urgent care centers. By continually extending its reach within the greater Kansas City area, Children’s Mercy is creating a legacy of being the best place for superior medical care of children.

As a prime example of this type of commitment to its patients and their families, Children’s Mercy East in Independence, Missouri, is making great strides as it forges further and further ahead in its dedication to the mission of the hospital. While the compassion is truly felt within every square inch of this place, the numbers don’t lie. Over the course of the six years it has been in operation, CME has achieved exponential growth in the number of patients seen. In the first nine months after opening in 2013, CME saw 24,300 patients. In its second full year, that number increased to 46,077. By the third year, clinicians treated over 56,000 patients, and that number has continued to grow at a phenomenal rate, providing more and more care for the patients of CME and Eastern Jackson County.

With this impressive growth and the velocity at which it outpaced all projections, the need to expand its operations was not only inevitable, but urgently necessary. To maintain its commitment to the best in patient care, CME moved forward to expand its facility last year and was given a welcome helping hand in that regard with a $1 million grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation. However, in order to receive this grant, CME had to do its part to bring this all to fruition.

“The Mabee Foundation awarded us a $1 million challenge grant which was contingent upon our ability to raise the remaining $1.8 million needed to reach our fundraising goal,” explained Cheryl Melton, Director of Multispecialty Clinics, MSN-Ed, RN, CPN. “Once the Mabee Foundation issued the challenge, we had 12 months to reach our goal and community support took us over the top. This is the second challenge grant we’ve received from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation. The first one helped us build Children’s Mercy East.”

Melton explained that community support was critical in securing the Mabee challenge.

“We have one of the best philanthropy teams I’ve seen in the nation,” Melton expressed. “We also received donations from many businesses, employees, and individual donations from within the community. It really shows how much people care about what we do.”

The expansion provides not only the ability to provide the top-notch care for which CME is known, but it also allows the people who work there to deliver to the unparalleled standards associated with the quality of care for which Children’s Mercy is known around the country.

“We have a really great team here, and we all work very well together,” indicated Melton. “It’s a seamless process.”

Prior to the expansion, CME had 22 exam rooms that were shared with 17 multispecialty clinics on the second floor. As a result, there was a time period when both the urgent care and the clinics simultaneously used these rooms.

“Neither of us had the full 22 rooms, which created longer wait times,” said Melton. “We knew in 2018 that expansion was necessary, so we began building in January of 2019 and completed the project in June.”

Because of the expansion, CME added more specialty clinics and exam rooms, reducing patient wait times and allowing for improved patient flow and privacy at the facility. At present, CME has 19 specialty clinics, from cardiology to orthopedics. Additionally, this facility houses the region’s only full-service pediatric gentle imaging center with Child Life support. The former unfinished shell space on the first floor has now become the urgent care center, which has 21 exam rooms and is open seven days a week

“We were very particular in the design for the first floor urgent care,” explained Melton. “It was developed to maximize the efficiency of the workspace so all of the staff is in one centralized workspace, allowing us to provide more effective care for our patients. We are also the only free-standing pediatric clinic that has a lab, full imaging center, urgent care and specialty clinics.”

As CME continues to gain momentum while carrying on the tradition of excellent patient care, will there be another expansion in the future?

“I do believe in my time here we will see another expansion,” reflected Melton. “We have more land on the East side for another building. However, any future expansion will be determined by what our organization as a whole needs and what the community needs.”

The entire team at CME holds a debt of gratitude for the assistance received through the Mabee Foundation.

“We are so grateful to the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation for its longstanding support of our children and families, as well as the many donors who helped us meet this important challenge grant,” says Jenea Oliver, PhD, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer. “The impact goes well beyond helping us meet the growing demand for urgent care services, which is greater than we imagined. We want to do everything possible to ensure kids in our community can get the care they need close to home and get families back to those precious everyday moments that are lost when a child is not feeling well.”

For more information on Children’s Mercy East, visit them at 20300 East Valley View Parkway, Independence, MO 64057; call 816.234.3000; or go online at childrensmercy.org. To reach the urgent care clinic, call 816.478.5200.

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