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Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC)

EMSThe Alaska EMSC program is housed in the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Division of Public Health, Section of Rural and Community Health Systems, Office of EMS, located in Juneau. The program is federally-funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resource Services Administration, Maternal Child Health Bureau, EMSC Program.

Since 1989, Federal EMSC funds have supported State EMS efforts to assure that the unique health care needs of the pediatric population are always considered. The Alaska EMSC program goals include:

  • Goal 1 Expand hospital emergency departments pediatric readiness across the state with emphasis on underserved and outlying communities. Expand collaboration with the Alaska Trauma Program, integrate the new 2022 American College of Surgeons Trauma center standards with EMSC priorities, and work to promote the existing pediatric emergency care facility recognition program throughout the state. Ensure sustainability and cost savings as well as a measurable improvement in pediatric care for stakeholders. Encourage healthcare facilities to designate and or expand Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator designations in emergency departments through education and outcome data. 
  • Goal 2 Improve Pediatric Readiness throughout State EMS systems by establishing a standardized pediatric readiness recognition program for prehospital EMS agencies to include criteria such as Pediatric Care Coordinator (PECC) designations; pediatric emergency medical skills-check frequency and process development; and the inclusion of specific pediatric patient procedures in their agency, local community, and state disaster plans. Assess and address special and or additional needs for Alaska Native Communities to improve pediatric care to ensure inclusion and equity in funding and support.
  • Goal 3  Increase pediatric disaster readiness both in-hospital as well as prehospital settings by ensuring that disaster plans include specific needs of children and ensuring equitable training and efforts are available to remote underserved villages.  
  • Goal 4 Prioritize and advance family partnership and leadership in efforts to improve EMSC systems of care by including and engaging maternal, family, and child program representatives who can advocate on behalf of children's emergency care needs in their community on local and statewide pediatric patient care committees.

The Federal EMSC Program has developed a set of Performance Measures to document activities and accomplishments of each state’s program in improving the delivery of emergency services to children. These measures provide an ongoing, systematic process for tracking the goals of the EMSC Program; allow for continuous monitoring of the effectiveness of key EMSC Program activities; identify potential areas of performance improvement; and more.

How Are EMSC Goals Accomplished? The Alaska EMSC program is able to demonstrate progress towards the EMSC Performance Measures and achieve its goals through an active EMSC Advisory Committee, which is a task force with representation throughout the state and from many disciplines, working with the EMS agencies and hospitals; collecting data to identify gaps in children’s emergency care and providing up-to-date information on children’s care.