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Improving Health

Saving Children's LivesHealth Initiatives

Each community’s health must be judged by the health of
its most vulnerable people: children, the elderly and the
economically disadvantaged.We are dedicated to improving
health infrastructure, education and access


Saving Kids For us, improving health starts by giving back to our communities. That means helping to identify areas of medical need across the United States and responding to those needs with community-based solutions. Our goal is to make high-quality health care a reality for every person through better education, smarter investments and an unwavering commitment to building a stronger health care system.

Today, trauma is the leading cause of death and disability in children. But evidence shows that pediatric trauma patients have a much better chance of survival and recovery when treated at a specialized children’s hospital.

As part of our United Minnesota initiative, a 10-year, $100 million philanthropic program to support health and communities in Minnesota, UnitedHealthcare awarded Children’s Foundation in Minneapolis a $17.5 million gift to enhance trauma care for children in the Upper Midwest. It marks the largest philanthropic contribution in the company’s history.

The funding is being used to create a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota’s (Children’s) Minneapolis campus. It will also fund the newly expanded UnitedHealthcare Pediatric Emergency Department at Children’s.

Children’s has served the unique needs of families and children in the Twin Cities since 1924. It’s an independent, not-for-profit health care system that handles more than 200,000 emergency room and outpatient visits every year, and it is the only Minnesota hospital system to provide comprehensive care exclusively to children.

According to Dr. David Hirschman, medical director of Trauma at Children’s, treating children who are victims of trauma requires a different approach than treating an adult.

“Kids are different in terms of size and their experience with pain, with anxiety and with suffering,” said Hirschman.



Minnesota resident Kris Moos experienced firsthand how the expertise offered by Children’s saves lives after her stepson, Alan, was injured in a near-fatal car accident.

Alan Moos had suffered a severely crushed and lacerated liver, a collapsed lung, ruptured bladder and shattered pelvis after the car he was riding in with his father, Jeff, and his 10-year-old brother, Riley, was struck by another vehicle near their hometown of Milaca, Minnesota.

Unconscious and with only a weak heartbeat, Alan was airlifted and stabilized at a local hospital. But soon he developed acute respiratory distress syndrome — a life-threatening condition resulting from the injuries to his lungs. Immediately, Alan’s doctors looked to Children’s for help.

“They were very clear,” said Kris Moos. “The doctors told us, ‘If we don’t move him [to Children’s] we will lose him.’”

At Children’s, Alan was treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO. Often used following pediatric heart surgery, ECMO does the work of a patient’s heart and lungs, giving the body time to heal.

Kris Moos said her family found a “warm and comforting” environment at Children’s. “We were involved in every step of Alan’s care. We were at his bedside constantly. They told us everything and even showed us procedures in progress.”

After 25 days on ECMO, Alan’s condition improved. Soon he was responding to family members and began asking questions about his condition. Today, Alan is a strong and healthy teenager.

Kris Moos credits Alan’s remarkable recovery to Children’s expertise and says the funding donated by UnitedHealthcare for a new Trauma Center will give hope to families throughout the Upper Midwest. “Kids are clearly different from adults,” said Moos. “Children’s knew more about the care Alan needed. With a new Trauma Center, they will be able to do even more to save children’s lives.”

In addition to the Trauma Center, the gift from UnitedHealthcare is enabling Children’s to recruit additional pediatric specialists in areas such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery and anesthesia; expand training and education opportunities for pediatric specialists and EMS personnel in the five-state region; and develop injury prevention public education programs.

Finally, the UnitedHealthcare Pediatric Emergency Department at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics will add two state-of-the-art trauma bays, four new procedure rooms, a new triage area, an ambulance bay and a communications dispatch center.

“This kind of gift is going to lead to improvements that are going to help heal children for decades to come,” said Gary Wright, chief of Clinical Care at Children’s.

Richard Migliori, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer, Health Services, UnitedHealth Group, and Children’s board member, said the new trauma facilities will strengthen trauma services across the region.

“We recognize the significant need for specialized pediatric trauma research, treatment and prevention efforts,” said Migliori. “Children’s is uniquely positioned to make measurable progress on these fronts to deliver enhanced care to thousands of children.”

The vision is clear and the commitment is strong: to create a premier site for the evaluation, treatment and expert care of children with severe and life-threatening injuries.

This new center will serve both as a catalyst for much-needed pediatric trauma research on a national scale, as well as new trauma prevention efforts throughout the Upper Midwest.

 
Video


UnitedHealthcare awarded Children’s Foundation in Minneapolis a $17.5 million gift to enhance trauma care for children in the Upper Midwest.









Patient Alan Moos and his stepmother Kris with Alan Goldbloom, M.D., president and CEO of Children’s of Minnesota at the dedication of the new Pediatric Trauma Center.