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Delaware Today magazine 302 First, Doing Good: Exceptional Care for Children in Newark

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Exceptional Care for Children, a unique residential healthcare facility that serves technology-dependent children and their families, will soon become even more exceptional.

The facility’s operators will open a renovated third floor that will add 11 new patient bedrooms, bringing the total number of private rooms to 32. The home-like facility, which opened in 2006 on 8 acres near Newark, has also added a new classroom and plans to break ground on a playground in the near future.

“We started out so small and it’s finally coming to fruition,” says Valerie Shanahan, a staff development nurse who started working at Exceptional Care shortly after it opened.  “We’re able to expand and help more children—to give them that safe haven.”

Exceptional Care provides longterm, transitional, palliative and end-of-life care to children who require technology as part of their treatment. Residents range in age from newborns to age 21.

Some children become well enough to return home while others aren’t as fortunate. One resident, who suffered a stroke, has lived there from almost the beginning. A teenager now, her technology dependency is a surgical feeding tube in her stomach.

“We’ve been very successful at transitioning kids home when we can,” says Michelle Plymyer, controller. “For those who don’t have anywhere else to go, this is their home.”—Drew Ostroski

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