Q&A: How Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital is establishing Charlotte as a children’s health care haven

Q&A: How Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital is establishing Charlotte as a children’s health care haven
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This content was created in partnership with Atrium Health. 

Over the last decade, Charlotte has become a regional leader in pediatric health care thanks to Levine Children’s Hospital.

The proof: Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital was just named a “Best Children’s Hospital” by U.S. News & World Report for the 16th consecutive year.

So, what goes into being a top-tier pediatric hospital? We interviewed Callie Dobbins, whose job it is to figure that out each day.

  • Now the Senior Vice President and Facility Executive, Callie has been with Atrium Health for 22 years and started out as a bedside nurse in neonatal intensive care.

Callie works alongside physicians and leaders to ensure that Levine Children’s Hospital is providing world-class pediatric health care. She’s continuously working to improve the hospital and patient experience.

What does it mean to be named a Best Children’s Hospital?

Our team is not motivated by national recognition for the recognition’s sake. What we believe is important about the U.S. News & World Report rankings is its objective validation. There are only so many hospitals across the country with these recognitions, and we’re lucky to have one in Charlotte.

Here’s why: I worked at Atrium Health long before we had Levine Children’s Hospital, when lots of children had to leave Charlotte to get the care they needed.

  • Having a top-tier children’s hospital in our city is not only lifesaving for kids who live in the region, but also provides peace of mind for parents.

During your 22-year tenure at Atrium Health, you’ve seen Levine Children’s Hospital grow from the ground up. What was that like?

When we opened our doors in 2007, we wanted to allow children in Charlotte to stay here for health care — that was our first big dream.

The strategy: Over the last 15 years, we have worked side-by-side with our physician leaders to make that dream a reality.

  • Some examples: We are the only children’s hospital in the Charlotte region that provides the highest complexity services for children, such as heart surgery, bone marrow transplants and solid organ transplants. We’re also the only Level I Trauma Center for children.

What this means: This tells parents and Charlotte citizens alike that Levine Children’s Hospital can be and should be their home for health care if their child needs it.

I’m also proud of the growth in the number of pediatric primary care offices we have across Charlotte. Your child’s pediatrician serves as the quarterback for your child’s healthcare needs until adulthood, so by having offices across the Charlotte region, you have access to
care, close to home.

  • These offices work hard to provide care to their patients to keep them out of the hospital first and foremost. But if needed, our primary care offices have direct access to our specialty and hospital teams to ensure that kids get the advanced care they need.

What’s next for Levine’s Children’s?

Looking ahead: ​​We believe it’s important that we keep growing the programs we offer so that parents can continue to have the trust that the very best health care is right here in Charlotte. So I think you’ll see more doctors in our subspecialties and much more from Levine Children’s.

  • We’ll also continue to focus on increasing access to care for children across North and South Carolina, especially in more rural communities.

Okay, but: No matter how many services we provide and grow, one thing will never change: We’re going to put children and their families at the center of what we do.

  • That’s one of the things I hear from families who choose us; that there’s something really special about the relationship and the experience families feel when they’re at Levine Children’s Hospital.

Throughout your time at Levine Children’s, do any experiences come to mind that demonstrate that patient-focused philosophy?

I’m lucky in that I see cases every week where our team not only provides complex medical care but also wraps their arms around the families.

An example: A few weeks ago, we had a patient who was recovering from heart surgery during prom season. The team wanted to make sure that she did not miss this important milestone as a high school student so they ensured she had tickets, a dress and services to help her get ready, such as hair, makeup and nails all so that could experience this once-in-a-lifetime moment.

The reason: Those are monumental milestones, and we try not to let health care interrupt them.

It really is the fabric of what we do because we know that part of healing is really letting kids be kids. And so, if that means being a soccer player, let’s find a way to safely get on the soccer field. If that’s being a dancer, then maybe we connect you to a dancer in the community.

  • Helping children see past their diagnosis are the stories that always stand out to me.

Learn more about Atrium Health Levine Children’s commitment to providing world-class pediatric care in the Charlotte region.

This content was created in partnership with Atrium Health. 

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