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Lakeland, FL – Lakeland Regional Health is pleased to now be able to offer families in Polk County and surrounding communities the ease and peace of mind of high-level intensive care for their children right here in Lakeland, beginning September 1, 2020. A 12-bed high-acuity Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is ready to open at the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children.

“Lakeland Regional Health and its Pediatric teams feel very fortunate to be able to provide children who are critically ill with life-saving medical care close to home,” said Timothy J. Regan, MD, President, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center/Chief Medical. “We want to be here for you and your family when you need us most.”

Among the conditions our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit can now treat:

  • Acute and chronic respiratory insufficiency (asthma, infection, acute lung injury)
  • Circulatory failure (sepsis, shock, heart failure not requiring ECMO)
  • Infectious diseases leading to major organ system dysfunction
  • Endocrine and metabolic disorders (diabetic ketoacidosis, recognition and stabilization
    of inborn errors of metabolism and mitochondrial disorders, hypothyroidism, adrenal crisis)
  • Neurologic diseases (status epilepticus, encephalopathy)
  • Toxic ingestions/exposures
  • Hematologic disease

Lakeland Regional Health’s collaboration with Nemours Children’s Health System allows for staffing the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit with highly skilled Intensivist Specialists. In addition, Pediatric Respiratory Therapists, a specially trained Pediatric Nursing team and two Certified Child Life Specialists will provide close monitoring and care for these young patients.

“I am proud to be a part of this exciting new Pediatric ICU, which will help families in the area find the care they need from specially trained physicians closer to home,” said Al Torres, MD, Nemours Children’s Health System Medical Director of Pediatric Programs at the Partnerships and Medical Director of the PICU at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center.

The PICU is located on the south side of the sixth floor of the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children, sharing the floor with the Pediatrics Unit. The Pavilion for Women and Children opened in 2018 to serve the women, babies and children of the community.

“We have been planning many years for this exciting day,” said Lori Shea, MBA, BSN, RN-C, OB, Lakeland Regional Health Associate Vice President, Women’s and Children’s Services. “This new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit will bring much-needed care to our community.”

To mark this special occasion, Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz will join with Lakeland Regional Health leaders for a Virtual Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 11 a.m. September 1. If you are interested in covering the ceremony, please reach out to

About Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center

Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center is Florida’s fifth largest hospital. Founded in 1916 as Morrell Memorial Hospital, this 864-bed, comprehensive tertiary referral hospital operates the Jack and Tina Harrell Family Institute for Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine; a Level II Trauma Center; the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children, which includes a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; and the Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine. The Medical Center holds high-level accreditations for its Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center and Chest Pain Center. Three hybrid operating rooms and a catheterization lab offer patients the least invasive surgeries possible and enhanced safety. The Medical Center is home to one of the nation’s busiest single site Emergency Departments and handles over 3,000 trauma visits annually.

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