Pediatric Center Celebrates 30 Years

YONKERS, NY (September 2018)—The Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, which in recent years has grown to become the largest children’s post-acute care facility in the United States, celebrated its 30th anniversary on Sunday, September 23, 2018. More than 500 children, family members, staff and special guests joined.

“How far we have come!” said Sr. Carol Barnes, S.C., Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors, as she addressed those in attendance. “What began as a program of The New York Foundling, sponsored by the Sisters of Charity, became a separately incorporated organization focused on a pressing need for pediatric skilled care. At that time, first and foremost, the care was for babies in the hospital born with AIDS or suffering from the effects of drug-addicted mothers,” she said. “Soon after the move-in, 30 years ago, the health care landscape for pediatrics began to change and now it’s almost unrecognizable. Medical advances have saved and extended young lives and introduced new and multiple complexities for children.”

The Pediatric Center, which was founded in 1988 in Manhattan, relocated to a brand new facility in Yonkers, N.Y. in 2012 and has continued to grow with the completion of a 32-bed expansion for technology-dependent children in 2017.

Currently, the Pediatric Center cares for 169 children with diverse medical complexities, including more than 60 children who rely on ventilators and other forms of advanced technology-based care. This level of acuity requires the support of over 750 staff members. As part of the day’s program, 21 staff members who have committed over 25 years of service were honored.

New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins lauded the Pediatric Center for its commitment to care. “I think that I speak in conjunction with all of my colleagues on every level of government [when I say that] we are so honored to [represent] a place where Elizabeth Seton thrives – where the young people and the families and everybody who comes through these doors achieves things that without the miracle of this place they may not ever have achieved,” she said.

“Thirty years is an extraordinary milestone,” Senator Stewart-Cousins continued. “When you are privileged enough to be part of something as great as this, the only thing you can do is use what you have to make sure that we continue the commitment and the progress so that the promise of these young people are fulfilled.”

The Pediatric Center plans to soon pioneer the nation’s first free-standing young adult facility, specifically tailored for medically complex adults ages 21 to 35. “We have children who are now – which is great news – living past the age of 21 and there’s really no appropriate facility for them to go [to],” said Pat Tursi, CEO. “So they really are forced to go to adult nursing homes and we want to be the first of a kind to develop a home for medically complex [young adults].”

Also in attendance were special guests: New York State Senator Shelley Mayer, Westchester County Deputy Executive Ken Jenkins, Mayor of the City of Yonkers Mike Spano, New York State Department of Health Survey Manager Edgardo Aguado, Yonkers City Council Majority Leader Michael Sabatino and Yonkers City Council Member Shanae V. Williams. Additionally, Chairperson of the Board of Directors Michael Hegarty and Directors from the Pediatric Center and its affiliated organizations (the John A.  Coleman School, Children’s Rehabilitation Center and St. Elizabeth Seton Children’s Foundation) were on hand.

Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center resident, Stephanie, with CEO Pat Tursi