I am on call tonight at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the unit is relatively quiet. Margaret, a nurse I’ve worked with for many years, stops by to ask me if we’re having a critical care team for this year’s Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk for Children’s Hospital. We laugh at how we’re not as fast on our feet as we used to be. And yes, I tell Margaret the Honey Bees team, started by Dr. Tom Rice, will be walking again in Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk. Some of the funds raised will benefit critical care services.

Honey Bees Team

Members of the Honey Bees team participating in the Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk for Children’s Hospital.

I remember the first run in 1978. The starting line was in front of the former Children’s Hospital on 16th Street and Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee. The staff and patients would gather at the windows to wave and watch as the runners stepped up to the starting line. In 34 years, this event and Children’s Hospital have grown tremendously.

The critical care units have expanded and are now on multiple floors of the hospital. What was known as the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit started in the mid-70s with 12 beds. When we moved to the county grounds in the late 80s, we started with 24. Today, we have 72 critical care beds to provide highly specialized care to children and neonates.

Delivering great patient care takes energy, money and many dedicated people working as a well orchestrated team. Our critical care team consists of about 350 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, social workers, chaplains, care partners, research personnel, dietitians and Child Life specialists. Everyone has a unique role with one goal: to deliver exceptional patient care to children.

My pager is going off as I write this blog. I must respond. So, lace up your shoes and meet the critical care team at the starting line Saturday, Sept. 17, for Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk. Sign up at www.alsrun.com to help kids get healthy and stay healthy.

~ Rainer Gedeit, MD, program director, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

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