Since opening in 2013, Christiana Care Health System’s Middletown Emergency Department has provided much-needed emergency services close to home for the residents of Delaware’s Southern New Castle and Northern Kent counties.
The 36,500-square-foot freestanding facility has brought 24/7 emergency care to the growing area, which currently has about 86,000 residents. They previously had a drive of 25 minutes or more from the Middletown area to the nearest emergency room.
Community leader Dian C. Taylor, president and CEO of Artesian Water Company and longtime Christiana Care supporter, wanted to show appreciation and asked how she could help.
Linda Laskowski Jones, MS, APRN, ACNS-BC, CEN, FAWM, FAAN, vice president of Emergency and Trauma Services at Christiana Care, had a request at the top of her wish list. “We wanted to expand our capacity to conduct on-site screenings for blood clots and flu,” she said. “Dian reached out at just the right time.”
Taylor and Artesian Water Company, which provides water services throughout the Delmarva Peninsula, contributed $100,000 to purchase two specialized technology systems that quickly and effectively rule out or identify a blood clot or flu virus. One is a testing unit that screens blood samples for D-dimer fragments, high levels of which can indicate a blood-clotting problem like deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. The other is a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which offers rapid lab testing of nasal secretions for flu and other viruses.
Having the technology for these tests onsite at the Middletown Emergency Department vastly improves the patient experience and the clinical staff’s ability to start appropriate treatment, said Cheryl Katz, MS, MT, vice president of Pathology and Laboratory Services at Christiana Care.
“Without this technology, we’d have to transport specimens from Middletown to Christiana Care’s main campus for testing,” said Katz. “Several D-dimer tests are conducted each day. And in flu season, as many as 10 PCR tests are performed each day. Instead of driving specimens more than 20 miles away, we walk them across the hall, drastically cutting down the wait for patients and the delay in their receiving treatment.”
On Nov. 1, Taylor and Artesian Water Company’s management team and board of directors visited Middletown for a tour of the facility and dedication of a lobby plaque acknowledging the company’s gift.
“I am so honored, personally and on behalf of Artesian, to be here today and recognized by Christiana Care for our contribution to the Middletown Emergency Department,” said Taylor, a Christiana Care trustee. “We are partners in this community, helping to better the lives of those we serve, and I am pleased that we are able to contribute to the health and well-being of our neighbors.”
Joining the group were Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, president and CEO of Christiana Care, Charles L. Reese IV, M.D., chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Jones and other Christiana Care leaders.
“Christiana Care constantly strives to create value for the people and communities we serve,” said Dr. Nevin. “Middletown Emergency Department’s partnership with Artesian Water Company, another customer-focused service provider, exemplifies the impact of strategic partnerships to uphold our promise of value and excellence in our community.”
“Emergency medicine is an essential part of any community. The public depends on us around the clock,” Dr. Reese said. “When we have community support, like Artesian’s philanthropy, we are better able to do our job of keeping people healthy and well. We are grateful for the gift and for Artesian’s trust in Middletown Emergency Department to be good neighbors.”