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Children’s Hospitals are on the Frontlines of COVID-19

The United States is facing a monumental crisis when it comes to protecting the health of future generations. Children’s hospitals are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis, providing high-quality, compassionate care that sick children need. But they can’t do it alone.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is committed to ensuring our 170 member hospitals across North America have the resources they need to care for the most vulnerable kids during this time. The reality is: Kids Can’t Wait. They cannot wait for a cure, for the curve to flatten or for an economic boost. They need children’s hospitals now more than ever.

Since the crisis began, we have spoken to our hospitals on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. Every day, we hear how our children’s hospitals are on the frontline of this battle. We learn about the challenges they are facing and how they are innovating, adapting, and finding radical solutions.  We also understand their continued and urgent need for support.

The impact of COVID-19 on children’s hospitals is staggering:

  • Infection and Intensive Care Rates. A recent report shared by Business Insider estimates that, for every child in intensive care with COVID-19, there are 2,318 other children infected. Based on the projections, if at least 25% of the US population is infected by the end of 2020, as many as 44,000 children would need to be hospitalized and 5,400 in intensive care. That’s enough to overwhelm existing resources, the study concludes: there are just 5,100 pediatric ICU beds in the U.S., most of which are in big cities.
  • Elective Surgeries and Routine Procedures. The suspension of elective surgeries and routine procedures impacts the needs of kids right now. Even as some states prepare to resume elective surgeries, many of our hospitals like Children’s Hospital Colorado, are limiting appointments and elective procedures, surgeries, and diagnostic radiological studies  The resulting loss of funding is significant.
  • Charitable Care. In 2018, 4.3 million children didn’t have health insurance and 37 million children relied on Medicaid to cover their health-related expenses. Due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, children’s hospitals are bracing for and seeing an increased need for charitable care, well beyond the $80 million that Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals funds covered last year. As more families lose insurance coverage due to job loss, children’s hospitals will see increased costs as government programs don’t fully cover the cost of caring for kids.
  • Changes in Patient Care. Due to changes in patient care, hospitals need to invest in telehealth services, personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 testing supplies. Phoenix Children’s Hospital is one of many of our children’s hospitals making this rapid shift. Our network hospitals are currently anticipating the investments needed for these services will total more than $186 million.

In the midst of COVID-19, our hospitals are innovating and finding radical solutions:

  • Research. Children’s hospitals and their systems are actively working on developing COVID-19 treatments and vaccines including Boston Children’s Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, and Seattle Children’s among many others.
  • COVID-19 Testing. Children’s hospitals are on the frontlines of testing in their communities. Many larger children’s hospitals and/or their health systems have constructed and are opening drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites.
  • Patient Services. Each year, tens of millions of children require specialized, expensive health care. Within the current crisis, many larger children’s hospitals are treating adult patients, and increasing the age range of patients served.
  • Telehealth and technology services will allow hospitals to provide care virtually and add technology upgrades to provide care under social distance recommendations.

We know we can address the most challenging health issues of today while preventing and preparing for those to come. But we can’t do it alone. Without philanthropy, many children’s hospitals face significant impacts in the short and long-term.  Our corporate partners, donors, and advocates will play a critical role in raising funds needed by children’s hospitals to transform how we meet the most urgent needs, saving more lives and protecting our collective future.

CMN Hospitals welcomes and needs your support.  CMN Hospitals has established a COVID-19 Impact Fund.  This fund can support our network hospitals’ need for more equipment, operations, charitable care, child life resources, virtual care, research and so much more. I invite you to visit to learn more and donate.

When we change kids’ health, we change the future – for all of us.