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An Open Letter to the Incredible Families of Tufts Children’s Hospital

February 17, 2022

The Wellforce Health System today announced it plans to convert its 41 Tufts Children’s Hospital pediatric inpatient beds to much-needed adult ICU and medical/surgical beds.

We wanted to update you on our planned changes to inpatient pediatric care at Tufts Medical Center and our new relationship with Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). We are sorry this change has been difficult for many families and we are committed to doing everything we can to work quickly to give you the answers you need.

We continue to have important conversations with our doctors, our nurses, our inpatient staff, our trainees and others, all of whom play a vital role in helping us think through the best path forward in pediatrics on our campus and throughout the Wellforce health system. Tufts Medical Center promises to work with you and your child’s care team to make this change as easy as possible.

Before addressing the details, I want to make sure you know that nothing is changing today. We continue to provide all our services including inpatient hospital care. We will keep you informed if anything changes along the way - as far in advance as possible of any change.

 

WHAT IS THE PLAN?

As previously announced, we will close our pediatric inpatient units, effective July 1, 2022. After that date, any child who needs overnight hospitalization will be cared for at Boston Children’s Hospital. The good news is that other than when a child needs overnight care, the vast majority of services currently available at Tufts will remain open and unchanged, including our:

  • General pediatric and Asian clinics
  • Adolescent medicine clinic
  • Center for Children with Special Needs
  • Sub-specialty clinics (clinics that treat specific illnesses)– while our work around this transition is not complete, our intent is to keep most of our sub-specialty clinics     open, in their current location, with the same care teams you see now, allowing you to use the same insurance you do now
  • Outpatient (same day) surgery
  • Our dedicated Pediatric Emergency Department (this is a change from our initial announcement -it will remain open)
  • Our 40-bed, Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)

 

Also, we are also keeping our community-based services, including:

  • Our pediatric outpatient specialty centers in Brockton, Chelmsford, Lawrence and Woburn
  • Our special care nurseries and pediatric hospitalist services at Lowell General, Signature Brockton, MelroseWakefield, Lawrence General and MetroWest hospitals.

 

WHAT ABOUT YOUR CARE TEAM?

We understand you have created incredible relationships with members of your care team. We are working hard to keep your care teams in place at Tufts or, if necessary, to help them find opportunities to continue to care for you within Wellforce or at BCH.

 

GOING FORWARD:

Pediatric care is changing, and through this approach, Tufts and BCH are now in a position to help lead that change. Our teams are committed to ensuring that our patients continue to receive excellent care.  Unless you are told otherwise, please continue to make any necessary appointments with your current physicians. As plans progress, and we have more specifics, we will keep you informed.

Thank you for your continued trust and patience throughout this transition. If you have concerns, please call the Tufts Medical Center phone line at 866.978.2399.

Sincerely,
Geoffrey Binney, Jr, MD, MPH
Pediatrician-in-Chief

 

*This information is still accurate as of 3/25/22.

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