Training Brings Johns Hopkins All Children’s Closer to Golisano Children’s

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida are growing their collaboration to expand neurosurgery services.

Amy Sullivan, R.N., leads a simulation for clinicians from Golisano Children's Hospital in the Simulation Center at Johns Hopkins All Children’s.

Amy Sullivan, R.N., leads a simulation for clinicians from Golisano Children's Hospital in the Simulation Center at Johns Hopkins All Children’s.

Published in Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital - Spring 2021

Amy Sullivan, R.N., carefully fits the cervical collar around the neck of a high-fidelity mannequin in the Center for Medical Simulation and Innovative Education at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

As Sullivan demonstrates the proper technique, a group from Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida soaks in the information. Soon, they may be putting it to use.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s and Golisano are growing their collaboration, and All Children’s Specialty Physicians is recruiting a neurosurgeon to work at Golisano and run a neurosurgery program there. Johns Hopkins All Children’s neurology and neurosurgery programs are ranked #27 among the nation’s children’s hospitals in the 2020-2021 U.S. News & World Report rankings. The program has been ranked in three of the past four years with this year’s ranking as the highest ever. The programs promote healthy neurodevelopment early in life and provide state-of-the-art care for children with brain tumors, traumatic brain injuries and other brain conditions to ensure the best possible recovery.

“This collaboration will expand access to our neurosurgery services to more children,” says George Jallo, M.D., a neurosurgeon who serves as vice dean and physician-in-chief at Johns Hopkins All Children’s and is medical director of the hospital’s Institute for Brain Protection Sciences. “Location should never be a barrier to finding the specialized care your child needs.”

Training the Team

Kentlee Battick, R.N., and Patricia Maloney, R.N., a senior education specialist in the simulation center, designed the training program with the help of about 20 other nurses and advance practice providers. A surgical procedure is complex, especially in a specialized area such as neurosurgery. Golisano sent a large portion of its clinical team who would work with the Johns Hopkins All Children’s neurosurgeon at the Fort Myers, Florida, hospital, about 120 miles south of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s main campus in St. Petersburg.

“We have developed such strong collaborative relationships with the Johns Hopkins All Children’s team, from the bedside to the leadership teams,” says Alyssa Bostwick, vice president of operations and chief nurse executive for Golisano Children’s Services. “The commitment to excellence in the care of all patients in our region shines through their passion to educate our team and our team’s desire for that education. It is the example of a rising tide lifting all boats.”

More than 100 Golisano staff members — including doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and advance practice providers — attended the training. They work in the emergency department, transport, neonatal intensive care and pediatric intensive care.

“We wanted to include as many people as possible who might encounter a child with a brain or spinal cord diagnosis,” says Battick, who has worked in the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Institute for Brain Protection Sciences for nine years. “We were thrilled with the engagement and interest of the Golisano team.”

The course includes a lecture portion on some common brain and central nervous system conditions such as hydrocephalus, neural tube defects and cervical spine injury. Following the lecture, the team members are split into different groups to allow for physical distancing and a more private instructional environment. Each learner then spent time with hands-on use of a simulated functional external ventricular drain and placement/care of a cervical collar on a pediatric and an infant mannequin.

Later, the groups engage in a neurosurgery-related patient simulation. The goal of the scenario is to apply the knowledge they learned in the lecture and skills stations.

“Through this partnership, we will be able to keep children and families close to home, so they can get the high-quality, specialty care they need right here in Southwest Florida,” says Emad Salman, M.D., regional medical officer for Golisano Children’s Hospital. “At Golisano Children’s Hospital, we are committed to expanding access to specialty services because distance should never be a barrier when your child needs a higher level of care.”

Growing Relationship

The relationship between the two hospitals has grown in recent years.

In October 2019, they announced an agreement to expand care for kids across Florida’s west coast. It extended providers at both locations access to medical privileges to admit and treat patients. Golisano also gained access to pediatric research studies and protocols through Johns Hopkins All Children’s.

That same month, several clinical team members from Golisano attended the inaugural Pediatric Brain Symposium hosted by Johns Hopkins All Children’s. That event included some neurosurgery simulation training.
In August 2020, Battick traveled to Fort Myers to present a customized version of her BRAIN lecture series, which provides education about common care challenges with neuro patients. The material she presented at Golisano was tailored to the expected pediatric patient population at that hospital.

“We have carefully been laying the groundwork to join with Golisano in offering these services in southwest Florida,” Jallo says. “We think this will be a positive development for patients and families in the region.”