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Bright Futures

Articles and Updates from Phoenix Children's

May 04, 2020
Arizona’s Top Quality Surgery Center for Kids


Surgical Team
Front, left to right: Traci Herbert, VP Surgery Central, Barb Pankratz, VP Perioperative Services, Dr. Dorothy Rowe, Pediatric Surgeon and Associate Medical Director of Children’s Surgery, Janelle Novotny, Children’s Surgery Program Manager.

Back, left to right: Todd Nickoles, Director of Trauma, Children’s Surgery, and Injury Prevention Programs, Dr. Dan Ostlie, Surgeon in Chief and Medical Director of Children’s Surgery, Dr. Casey Lenox, Medical Director of Perioperative Services and Medical Director of Children’s Anesthesia.

Even while managing COVID-19, Phoenix Children’s continues to elevate its delivery of the best care for your kids. One area we take exceptional pride is surgery. To that end, we were recently verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center – putting us into some very elite company across the U.S. That also means, like always, we take every necessary step to ensure your child is in the best possible hands when they arrive at Phoenix Children’s for surgery. We recently caught up with Children’s Surgery Program Manager, Janelle Novotny to get additional insight about the verification. 


Q: What is the American College of Surgeon’s Level 1 Children’s Surgery center accreditation?

A: A level 1 Children’s Surgery Verification is a way to verify exceptional pediatric care throughout the entirety of a child’s surgical experience, from EMTs up to 30 days after surgery.

Q: Why did Phoenix Children’s make this a priority to attain?

A: Children’s Surgery Verification was made a priority at Phoenix Children’s because we know we’re great at what we do and this allows us to show it. This program shows our values and commitment to care align with the same high standards held at other great pediatric institutions. This verification helps to make Phoenix Children’s a destination for quality surgical care.

Q: Now that we have received this elite accreditation, what significance and benefit does it have for our surgery patients?

A: The benefits for the patient is really evident in the research. Specialized pediatric care has been show to improve patient outcomes and decrease the length of hospital stays. This verification says every specialist your child sees, every nurse, tech and doctor is primarily devoted to pediatrics and our commitment to children is reflected in the care we provide.

Q: Does this accreditation apply to all surgeries at Phoenix Children’s?

A: As of right now, the surgery verification applies to all surgeries that occur on the main campus, including outpatient procedures at our surgery center.

Q: What specific criteria is the accreditation based on? Explain the verification process.

A: The verification focuses on two main aspects: unifying care for the surgical patient and verifying pediatric training for all hospital staff. During this verification process, we brought together a community of providers to facilitate communication with quality improvement in mind. We broke down silos that might occur in any hospital and brought all aspects of care together. With this, we also verified our commitment to pediatrics by providing proof of pediatric credentialing in all of our providers.

Q: How could this accreditation influence referring providers?

A: Referring providers want what’s best for their patients. This verification shows that, should their patient need surgery, Phoenix Children’s will provide the best pediatric care in the state, maybe even the entire Southwest.

Q: Did you receive a lot of support from leadership to attain this accreditation?

A: Absolutely! The program itself has been a passion project of our Surgeon in Chief, Dr. Dan Ostlie. We had amazing support from our two other medical directors for the project, Dr. Dorothy Rowe and Dr. Casey Lenox. I first heard about the program when the operating room manager, Allison Richins, recommended me for the position of children’s surgery program manager. I was given unconditional support from surgery and trauma administration as well.

For more information, visit our Surgery website or call 602-933-0016.

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