Polish Doctors Visit Cincinnati Children’s to Study Pediatric Trauma Care

Copernicus Hospital Exchange Summary July 17 – 21, 2017

On July 17th, 2017 a group of six motivated professionals from Copernicus Hospital in Gdansk, Poland arrived at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) to foster a better understanding of what is necessary to develop a pediatric trauma program at their facility. Currently in Poland there is no organized pediatric trauma system. There is however, a strong desire within the pediatric community to establish a system nationwide. Polish Officials from the Ministry of Health and the administration from Copernicus Hospital agreed to establish a collaboration with the Pediatric Trauma Transformation Collaborative at Cincinnati Children’s to provide support in the development of one hospital’s pediatric trauma program through an organized site visit. This visit was made possible by a generous donation from the Children’s Medical Care Foundation (CMCF), a medical knowledge-based foundation whose focus is on sharing medical knowledge that, along with being directly implemented in patient care, will be shared with colleagues in a medical institution or region. CMCF funds and arranges for supplemental specialized training of pediatric physicians and other high-expertise allied health personnel from nations with less advanced health care delivery systems at some of the leading medical institutions in the world.

Piotr Rychlik, MD, Emergency Department Physician; Krzysztof Lewicki, MD, PhD, Attending Surgeon; Stefan Anzelewicz, MD, PhDc, Resident Surgeon; Izabela Gortatowska, Registered Nurse;

Bartosz Krasinski, Paramedic and Lukasz Wrycz-Rekowski, Paramedic comprised the first group to participate in the collaboration. Housing in Cincinnati was arranged through CCHMC’s Global Health Center at the Jefferson International House where hospital sponsored shuttle service was provided between the CCHMC campuses. A week long program was planned and executed that included a combination of didactic and observational learning on the care and facilitation of the pediatric trauma patient. In addition, there was a day long simulation session at The Center for Simulation and Research stressing the importance of communication and teamwork. Highlights of visit included opportunities for the visitors to be paired with counterparts at CCHMC to ask questions and observe work flow in the emergency department, the intensive care unit, the operating room, and the outpatient clinics. In addition, the team was able to meet with a diverse group of representatives from different parts of the trauma program including child life specialists, chaplain services, child abuse team, critical care leadership, emergency department leadership and trauma nursing experts. (Attachment A)

A round-table discussion with staff from CCHMC worked with the group to develop goals reasonable to Copernicus Hospital as first steps in their program development. Areas to be addressed in the first year include:

  1. Work with the emergency medical services (EMS) community to provide better education/training related to pediatric trauma and improve communication between EMS and the hospital prior to patient arrival.
  2. Define roles and responsibilities of staff in the trauma bay and organize how that staff should be contacted to respond to a trauma. The Copernicus group also wanted to bring in all departments that will be treating the injured child, to define their role, solicit buy-in and understanding that trauma is not exclusive to one area.
  3. Develop simple data collection measures to help identify areas of improvement such as the time it takes for the staff members to arrive in the trauma bay and to identify the types of patients being treated.
  4. Develop a process to collaboratively review and learn from trauma cases with multidisciplinary input.
  5. Begin work on 1-2 standardized protocols for the care of the pediatric trauma patient.

Along with the educational opportunities there were also opportunities to create lasting friendships and bonds between the two programs and cultures.

A key organization vital in making this visit a success was the Polish American Society of Greater Cincinnati. They provided critical financial and cultural support in addition to exposing the group to the City of Cincinnati when they had free time. Like CCHMC, this group is committed to the collaboration and to improving the care of pediatric trauma patients in Poland. The visit was also a feature story highlighted in a special Health Matters segment on WCPO Channel 9 by Kristyn Hartman.


Trauma Services at CCHMC remains committed to the success of Copernicus Hospital and will establish regular communication with staff through email and video conferencing when needed. The Polish team will be presenting a summary of their visit to administrators at Copernicus Hospital in September and will recommend needed changes to their current system as well as opportunities to grow the program beyond the initial pilot. Richard Falcone Jr. MD, has a visit planned to Copernicus Hospital in mid-September to work further with the team and others in Poland.

Copernicus Summary – File format of the article with visit agenda details.

Big thank you goes to all PASGC members and friends who contributed in any shape and form to make the team feel welcomed in Cincinnati and providing them with the support they needed to be here!

Special thanks to Kristyn Hartman for covering this great story. Also, we would like to recognize Joanna Black for welcoming the team to the city, Dr. Piotr Chomczynski for hosting the team at his house and finally Piotr Kasprzycki who with support of Gosia Klukowska and Andy Bacca took the team on a very exciting tour of Cincinnati. Visiting team was also well prepared and knew exactly what they wanted to see. Well done! The visit was concluded with a members’ donation of children’s book to the newly created pediatric center in Copernicus Hospital.

Recently there was an article in Polish media about the progress of development the pediatric trauma center. It includes an interview with the medical team which visited Cincinnati.


Friendly translation of the article into English: Medycy z Gdańska uczyli się w USA