Christus Mother Frances Jacksonville Receives States First Texas EMS for Children Program Recognition


The Texas EMSC State Partnership through their Voluntary Pediatric Readiness Program (VPRP) has recognized the emergency center at Christus Mother Frances in Jacksonville as a Pediatric Ready Facility. This achievement recognizes the emergency department’s (ED) dedication to providing optimal care for ill and injured pediatric patients. This facility is the very first to obtain this recognition in the state of Texas.

The VPRP program is a pediatric readiness program that was established to prepare EDs to provide higher quality care for infants, children, and adolescents for the evaluation, treatment, and/or stabilization of children with medical and traumatic emergencies. One of the primary goals is to bolster pediatric readiness within communities and critical access hospitals such that children and families can benefit from the availability of at least one ED in their own community that is equipped to stabilize and/or manage common emergencies for children.

Similar to trauma center designation, a pediatric readiness program aids facilities in self-identifying areas in which they can optimize care. Unlike trauma center designation, however, the purpose of the VPRP does NOT designate, nor does it differentiate EDs based on the level of care they can provide for children. Rather, the purpose is to promote basic readiness for ALL EDs to be able to provide initial stabilization of children with emergency conditions given that nationally, 30% of ED patients are children. Furthermore, more than 90% of children are seen in general EDs when they have an emergency, not at a children’s hospital. The intent of the VPRP is to equip all EDs with the ability to safely treat and manage children in their own communities when appropriate, not to bypass these facilities.

The program is multitiered with three separate levels of recognition. Each level has specific criteria that must be met by a facility seeking that level of recognition. Each hospital goes through a site review by a team of experienced site reviewers. Hospitals that are recognized through this program must meet the essential criteria set forth by the VPRP, as outlined in the Joint Policy Statement—Pediatric Readiness in the Emergency Department. For more information, go to .

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