University of Michigan’s Mott named first ChildKind certified hospital in state

September is pain awareness month

Care teams at U-M's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital now wear buttons with their faces on them to improve patient experience while masks remain a critical safety measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Michigan Medicine)

ANN ARBOR – University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is the first hospital in Michigan to be named named a ChildKind certified facility.

ChildKind International is an organization that focuses on pediatric pain prevention and treatment by awarding certification to hospitals across the world that excel in the field.

The process to become an accredited hospital can take years, and a workgroup at Mott took initiative to apply to receive an accreditation of excellence from ChildKind.

“I am continually amazed by the incredible individuals that I have had the privilege of working with and learning from throughout this process and my tenure with the organization, including faculty, colleagues, and most of all, the patients who have invited me into their intricate lives,” clinical nurse in the Stepping Stones Pediatric Palliative Care team at Mott and the workgroup lead, Elizabeth Pasternak, said in a release.

Other team members include Tricia Keefer, Eric Scott, Chris Gajar, Kim Miller, Laura Sedig, Sarah Gargan, Carly Pavlis and Kendall Huizenga.

As part of the application process, the team welcomed surveyors from ChildKind for a visit to Mott.

“Being the first ChildKind certified hospital in Michigan is a public testament to the incredible pediatric pain care that Mott provides and once again makes us stand out amongst our peers,” chief nursing officer at Mott and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, Kelly Baird-Cox, said in a statement.

“This exceptional achievement would not be possible without all of our teams working together to prevent and treat pediatric pain in new and innovative ways.”

According to a Michigan Medicine release, ChildKind’s five principles for assessing an organization’s work in pain treatment and prevention include:

  • An institutional commitment to pain prevention, assessment, and treatment.
  • Ongoing education programs and awareness initiatives on pain for staff, trainees, patients and any of their caregivers.
  • Use of evidence-informed, developmentally appropriate processes for assessment of acute and chronic pain.
  • Specific evidence informed protocols for pain prevention and treatment including pharmacological, psychological, and physical methods.
  • Regular institutional self-monitoring within the framework of continuous quality improvement.

Pasternak said that at Mott, pediatric patients help guide the hospital’s pain team.

“Hearing their stories has pushed us to take a more holistic view of health care that includes the patient’s entire experience,” Pasternak said in a statement. “Pain care is such a critical component of this experience and this accreditation shows our commitment to ensuring that pain management remains a cornerstone of patient care at Mott.”