Tag Archive for: STARS

In moments of crisis, every second counts, especially for children with medical complexities. Parents of such children often live with the constant fear of emergencies and the uncertainty of whether emergency medical services (EMS) will have the necessary information and training to provide timely and effective care. However, hope shines through in the form of the Special Needs Tracking and Awareness Response System, or STARS.

STARS is not just a program; it’s a beacon of assurance for families of children with medical complexities. Developed by multiple pediatric hospitals and embraced by numerous emergency and EMS agencies across Missouri and Illinois, STARS is revolutionizing emergency care for vulnerable pediatric patients. This groundbreaking initiative aims to bridge the gap between medical institutions and emergency responders, ensuring seamless communication and enhanced preparedness in times of crisis.

At the heart of STARS lies the creation of personalized emergency care plans tailored explicitly for EMS and emergency department staff. These comprehensive plans are meticulously crafted by pediatric hospitals, drawing upon the expertise of healthcare professionals who understand the unique needs and challenges faced by children with medical complexities. By integrating these plans into a centralized web-based system, STARS facilitates swift access to crucial patient information for first responders, even before they reach the scene.

One of the most remarkable aspects of STARS is its ability to transcend geographical boundaries. Through its collaborative network, multiple pediatric hospitals contribute to a child’s STARS record, ensuring that emergency departments and EMS agencies statewide have access to vital information. This means that regardless of where an emergency occurs within the state, a child will receive care aligned with their individualized plan, providing much-needed reassurance to parents and caregivers.

The success of STARS lies not only in its innovative approach but also in its commitment to ongoing training and support. EMS staff are empowered to become integral members of a child’s care team, receiving specialized training and familiarizing themselves with high-risk children in their communities. By fostering this collaborative ecosystem, STARS transforms emergency responders into compassionate allies, capable of delivering optimal care in the most challenging circumstances.

Recognized nationally for its effectiveness and scalability, STARS is poised to expand its reach beyond Missouri and Illinois. With a hospital system in the southeast as the latest advocate for the program, the momentum behind STARS continues to grow. Ambulance districts, fire departments, and community hospitals eager to implement STARS in their communities are encouraged to reach out to dedicated program coordinators, Nicholas Salzman at (314) 678-3055 and Melanie Biver at (3140 678-3054, who stand ready to guide them through the process.

For parents of children with medical needs, STARS represents more than just a program—it’s a lifeline of hope and security. By harnessing the power of collaboration, technology, and unwavering dedication, STARS illuminates a path towards safer, more effective emergency care for our most vulnerable patients. To learn more about STARS and how it can benefit your child, contact your pediatric hospital or reach out directly to the STARS program coordinators. Together, let us continue to champion the well-being of every child, ensuring that no emergency goes unanswered and no child is left behind.

The STARS program has expanded its reach to include Collier, Lee, and Charlotte Counties, operating within Galisanos Children’s Hospital Southwest Florida. For an understanding of how STARS is making a difference in emergency care for children with medical complexities, check out their video:

To delve further into the program and address any queries, feel free to contact Angie Holmes, the Galisanos Children’s Hospital program coordinator, at (239) 343-6242, or Nicholas Salzman, the STARS program liaison, at (314) 678-3055.

Attention First Responders: Take a moment to view this video, “First Responders Caring for Individuals with Additional Needs/disabilities”: