Child-Friendly Emergency Care at Monmouth Medical Center

A newly remodeled waiting room and triage area at Monmouth Medical Center provide a safe, welcoming space for pediatric patients.

From left: Margaret Fisher, MD, Medical Director, The Unterberg Children’s Hospital; Victor Almeida, MD, Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine; Eric Carney, President and Chief Executive Officer; Bill Cook, VP, Ancillary Services; Sharmine Brassington, Director, Patient Care, Emergency Department; and Tara Kelly, VP, Development.

Every year, about 15,000 children enter the Emergency Department (ED) of The Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center (MMC). Now, when they sit in the waiting room or triage area, they are surrounded by bright, colorful décor with a paddleboarding theme.

On October 30, MMC held a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the newly remodeled WhatSUP Pediatric Emergency Department Waiting Room & Triage Area. The room features fun furniture in hues that are a tribute to the ocean. The soft seating and play area help children feel relaxed while they wait to be seen. An overhead projector displays interactive games on the floor, providing safe, no-touch play in the new space.

Fundraising With Friends

The renovations were made possible by the WhatSUP committee, led by Victor and Kari Rallo, who have held a paddleboard race on the Navesink River every summer since 2016. (Victor is a wine critic, host of PBS’s “Eat! Drink! Italy!,” author and owner of several restaurants.)

The couple’s friends joined them on the WhatSUP committee and, together, they raised funds for MMC.

Over the years, hundreds of participants have raced, and in 2019, the committee reached its goal.

“We’re grateful to our donors for always supporting our goals,” says Tara Kelly, Vice President of Development at MMC. “This gift will help us build a brighter, healthier future for our children and our families.”

The waiting room space was intended to provide privacy for families—especially those with young children—who visit the ED. Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it serves as a safe place to socially distance from others. The triage area allows children to be seen quickly in a warm, modern and safe environment.

Learn more about giving opportunities at Monmouth Medical Center.