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West Virginia Office of
Emergency Medical Services

350 Capitol Street
Room 425
Charleston WV, 25301

Toll Free: 1-888--747-8367
OEMS Phone: (304) 558-3956
OEMS Fax: (304) 558-8379
Trauma Phone: (304) 558-7124
Trauma Fax: (304) 558-7125

Always Ready for Kids (ARK)

ARK with Bear LogoThe Federal Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Program is designed to ensure that all children and adolescents, regardless of where they live, attend school, or travel, receive appropriate care in a health emergency.  This program is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Since its establishment, the EMSC Program has provided grant funding to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories.

Within the EMSC Grant, West Virginia is responsible for meeting Performance Measures 74 and 75.  These two performance measures are designed to ensure that a statewide, standardized system exists in which all hospital emergency departments demonstrate an established plan and/or the ability to manage medical and trauma pediatric emergencies.

In meeting these Performance Measures, West Virginia has developed the Always Ready for Kids (ARK) project.  The goal of ARK is to create an effective and sustainable method to ensure that children who need treatment for life threatening illnesses or injuries have access to appropriate facilities, equipment and trained personnel.

Becoming an ARK recognized facility is a positive occurrence for both the hospital and community.  Benefits include:

  • Creating a culture driven to continue improvement of pediatric patient outcomes, availability of equipment, services, and up-to-date treatment policies and protocols.
  • Increasing the public's confidence in overall quality of a hospital's ability to address medical needs of children.
  • Recognizing physicians, nurses, specialists, and other clinical staff for their knowledge, abilities, and commitment through their employment in an ARK recognized facility; therefore demonstrating a solid hospital-wide commitment to excellent health care of West Virginia's pediatric population through their support of the ARK project.
  • Increased exposure in your community as a facility prepared for addressing critical pediatric needs during a medical or trauma emergency.  This will be visible in the form of a plaque displayed in your facility's emergency department and through listing your facility on the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services' website, and, additionally through self-promoting this accomplishment through local and/or statewide media outlets.
  • Utilizing it as a recruiting and marketing tool to attract high quality physicians, nurses and other healthcare specialists.
  • Enhancing potential educational and grant offerings developed for rural hospitals and staff.

Each facility that achieves 100% compliance on "Essential" elements and 70% on "Desired" elements will receive ARK recognition.  Compliance with the guidelines will be determined through an onsite visit.  The site evaluation team will consist of staff from the West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services, EMS for Children Advisory Committee, and others as deemed appropriate.  Your facility's participation in the ARK initiative is key to West Virginia becoming a nationwide model for the positive treatment outcomes of children during a medical or trauma emergency.

Facilities receiving ARK recognition will remain valid for a period of three (3) years.  At that time, your facility has the option of reapplying.  If your hospital is interested in participating in the ARK initiative, please complete the application online or submit via e-mail to Vicki L. Hildreth, EMSC Coordinator, at Vicki.L.Hildreth@wv.gov.  Questions may be forwarded to Ms. Hildreth at (304) 558-3956.

See Also

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