Penn State Children's Hospital earns national designation for surgical program

Children's Hospital one of only eight in the country to be an ACS verified children's surgery center

Penn State Children's Hospital has earned special recognition from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) for providing excellent surgical care. The hospital is one of eight in the nation – and the only one in Pennsylvania – to be named a Level 1 Children's Surgery Center as part of the ACS's Children's Surgery Verification Program.

To achieve Level 1 verification – the highest level awarded by ACS – hospitals must meet criteria related to staffing, training and facility infrastructure, as well as protocols for care. This includes the presence of children's surgical and medical specialists, pediatric anesthesiologists and pediatric emergency physicians, all of whom are prepared to handle the specific needs of children. Such hospitals also must provide surgical care across multiple specialties, including procedures for complex diseases and major congenital anomalies. Learn more about Level 1 verification here.

“Children's surgery verification indicates that surgical care at our hospital meets the highest standards,” said Dr. Robert Cilley, medical director of children's surgery and surgeon-in-chief at Penn State Children's Hospital. “It also reflects the exceptional contributions of the large team at Penn State Children's Hospital that allows us to provide the highest quality surgical care to the children and families of central Pennsylvania.”

The ACS verification also acknowledges the Children's Hospital for its highly-trained staff and medical and surgical specialists who meet regularly to review patient outcomes, with a focus on quality and safety.


The hospital also participates in a national data registry that provides regular reports on the quality of its processes and outcomes.

“This verification from the American College of Surgeons is the latest testament to the great providers and support staff at Penn State Children's Hospital,” said Dr. Leslie Walker-Harding, chair of pediatrics and medical director at the Children's Hospital. “From simple procedures to the most complex needs, we're proud to be able to provide a high level of surgical care to children and families close to where they live.”

The Children's Hospital was awarded the three-year verification following an extensive site visit by a team of ACS surveyors. The team included a pediatric surgeon, a pediatric anesthesiologist and a nurse. After completing a vigorous review of the hospital's structure, process and clinical data outcomes, the team recognized the Children's Hospital for meeting all standards.

The ultimate goal of the ACS program is to prevent complications and save lives while reducing costs.

The designation affirms the Children's Hospital's commitment to systematically and continually improving children's surgery and anesthesia, bettering overall care for children with surgical needs.

Penn State Children's Hospital is also the only Level 1 pediatric trauma center in the region, and has more than 20 pediatric specialties and over 30 outpatient locations throughout Pennsylvania. For seven consecutive years, the Children's Hospital has been ranked among the Best Children's Hospitals in multiple specialties by U.S. News & World Report.

EDITORS: A high-resolution, downloadable photo of Penn State Children’s Hospital can be found here.

February 28, 2018 Penn State Health News

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