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The COVID-19 pandemic challenged doctors and hospital administrators as did no other event in our lifetimes. Leaders needed to develop a pandemic command structure with the agility to respond to rapidly evolving situations. They had to deal with drastic financial implications, develop new methods of delivering health care, and collaborate regionally. They learned the importance of communication with staff, policy makers, the local medical community, and the public. They had to allocate of scarce resources internally and externally, and balancing rational policy making against irrational fears. For children’s hospitals, some specific challenges included determining our role in a pandemic that predominately affected adults, doing research on the unique pediatric manifestations of disease, and dealing with questions about schools and daycare. In this workshop, leaders from hospital administration, infectious disease, and disaster preparedness will review and analyze some of our experiences and responses at a large quaternary care children’s hospital. We will use specific events and decisions to illustrate the unique challenges and our retrospective analysis of whether we could have done better. The goal of the interactive workshop is to learn together from our collective experience in order to be better prepared for future events.

Learning Objectives:

1. Describe the mechanisms that were put in place to respond to the emergent demands of the pandemic

2. Analyze options that were available to decision makers regarding specific choices, the reasons for the choices that they made, and downstream implications of those choices

3. Speculate about preparedness for the next phase of this pandemic, or the next major crisis.

Presented at the 2021 PAS Virtual Conference

Publication Date



Emergency Medicine | Infectious Disease | Pediatrics

When and Where Presented

Presented at the 2021 PAS Virtual Conference

Lessons From the Pandemic: How a Children’s Hospital Responded to the Challenges of COVID-19