Medically Complex Program
The Specialty Hospital at LifeScape offers a unique pediatric unit, providing 24-hour specialized care to infants, children, and teens who have complex medical needs. These can be the result of chronic illness, disabilities, hospitalization, or complex surgeries. Your child’s health and well-being are our main priorities. Our high nurse-to-patient ratio and on-site therapy team allow every child to receive individualized attention.
- Our medical director, Dr. Kate Sigford, is South Dakota’s only physician to be board-certified in both physical medicine and rehabilitation and pediatric rehabilitation.
- Our high-tech assistive technology solutions aid in communication, feeding & swallowing, and upper & lower extremity movement and mobility, as well as ways to engage in other daily tasks through advanced technology.
- We have South Dakota’s first and only certified clinician in swallowing and feeding disorders.
- Close-to Home-Care: Staying close to home during the healing process can provide real comfort and convenience. Children’s Specialty Hospital is the only pediatric rehabilitation hospital in South Dakota or the surrounding area.
- Seating and Mobility Specialists: Our staff includes certified seating specialists, as well as therapists and technicians who are specially trained to offer the most advanced seating and mobility options.
- The Specialty Hospital works collaboratively with several other medical institutions and specialty practices throughout the midwest to meet your child’s needs. Some examples are: gastroenterology, neurology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, orthopedics, psychiatry, pulmonary, and ear, nose, and throat (ENT).
- Outpatient clinic locations in Sioux Falls, Sioux City, IA, and Rapid City, SD ensure continued quality care when services transition from inpatient to outpatient care.
Each patient in our program has a multidisciplinary team which may include:
- Pediatric rehabilitation physician
- Primary care physician
- Pediatric nurses and nursing assistants
- Pediatric nurse care coordinator
- Occupational therapist
- Physical therapist
- Speech-language pathologist,
- Respiratory therapist
- Clinical psychologist
- Medical social worker
- School educator (when applicable)
- Music therapist
- Assistive technology specialists
- Seating and mobility specialists
Medically Complex Care - Who We Serve
Our team is experienced in working with complex medical issues, including complications of premature birth. As children reach their health goals, we support them by coordinating with outpatient or community services for a smooth transition to home.
Respiratory Support & Ventilator Weaning
On-site respiratory therapists help children and young adults with complex respiratory needs, tracheostomies, and ventilators 24 hours a day. Pediatricians and pulmonologists who treat children in the inpatient programs provide expert oversight of care plans.
Our therapists work alongside our in-house equipment provider to adapt medical equipment to increase mobility and help children safely access their world and meet developmental goals.
We administer and monitor IV fluids, medications, and nutrition.
Our medical care team is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness with the goal of improving the quality of life for both the patient and the family.
We encourage family involvement while a child is a patient in our care. A family apartment is also available on-site to accommodate two or more family members. Our family room is available to patients and their families to relax and spend time together.
Supporting your family with excellent discharge planning
When inpatient rehabilitation is complete, our team coordinates the child’s discharge with the referring physician, insurance case managers, family, school, and community agencies. Staff specialists provide training and education for parents, caregivers, and school personnel, so they never feel like they’re “on their own.”
- Coordination of care: Our care coordinator and the team will assist in finding medical providers in your area and setting up any medical appointments your child may have during hospitalization and after discharge.
- Community transition experiences are encouraged so families can practice therapy activities in real-life settings before going home. The rehab team will help coordinate community outings with specific goals for your child to help build his/her confidence and independence in getting back to community interests and routines.
- Family conferences: The rehab team meets regularity with the patient and family throughout their rehabilitation journey to discuss progress and goals. We work with your child’s school to inform them of any special needs and to help with the transition back to school.
- Therapists will assess, identify and recommend appropriate assistive devices and/or adaptive equipment for your child in preparation for discharge to home. The team will seek funding and ensure proper training prior to discharge.
- The rehabilitation team will educate and train families, caregivers, and school personnel on specific needs, goals, or exercises your child may need in order to be discharged to home.
With outpatient clinics in Sioux Falls, Sioux City, and Rapid City, patients have a seamless transition of care after discharge. Therapies and orthotic/prosthetic support—as well as wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment—is provided by the same team of rehabilitation experts for as long as needed.
Our Medically Complex Program is located at Children’s Specialty Hospital at LifeScape in Sioux Falls.