News Release Center

5/20/2015 12:00:00 AM CENTRAL
Updated: 5/20/2015 3:58:46 PM CENTRAL
For more information, contact Cora Gremaud.
PCMH's New S.T.A.R.S. Program Helps Children in Medical Emergencies

Perry County Memorial Hospital is excited to implement a new program named S.T.A.R.S.; which stands for Special Needs Tracking and Awareness Response System. S.T.A.R.S. will allow EMS providers, as well as Emergency Department staff, to be more prepared in taking care of special needs children ages 0-21 years, in an emergency situation, free of charge to patients.


According to an article by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the occurrence of childhood disabilities has increased greatly over the past half century, particularly in mental health and neurodevelopment. Due to this, community collaboration among emergency personnel is necessary. Those with significant developmental delays, seizure disorders, cardiac history, cerebral shunts, tracheotomies, autism, or any atypical disease or syndrome, will especially benefit from this program.


Each child who participates in the S.T.A.R.S. program will have a detailed medical form with information including medical history, medications, allergies, baseline vital signs, baseline neurological status, and common medical emergencies. The medical forms will be placed in each ambulance and in the Emergency Department.


An identifying number will be assigned to each individual child, and in the case of an emergency, the caller can tell the 911 dispatcher the child’s number, which will be relayed to the responding ambulance. This will allow emergency workers to be well-prepared in providing specialized care for the individual. Additionally, having this information at hand can prove vital, especially when a regular caretaker is not present.


According to Perry County Memorial Hospital’s emergency department nurse manager, Melissa Hayden, RN, “The S.T.A.R.S. program offers comprehensive information to medical professionals to provide the best care for the individual child. PCMH strives to provide quality, individualized care with open lines of communication with the child’s specialist. As frontline healthcare providers, we feel it’s important to be prepared and educated. We are proud to offer this program in Perry County, as it has been successful in communities to the north of us.”


For more information, contact Perry County Memorial Hospital S.T.A.R.S. team members at 573-768-3212 or An emergency department nurse or paramedic will be able to assist with any questions and filling out the S.T.A.R.S form.  Plus if your child has anxiety about the hospital or ambulances, Perry County Memorial Hospital offers tours to help ease their minds.


Perry County Health System, dba Perry County Memorial Hospital (PCMH), is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, critical access hospital located in Perryville, Missouri.  Perry County Health System includes Perry County Memorial Hospital, the physician practices found on the PCMH Campus, PFCC West, Perry County Dialysis and Counseling Center, the Perry County Memorial Hospital Ambulance Service, Prescriptions Plus Pharmacy, and more.  The organization is committed to providing quality healthcare to the community, just minutes from home.