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Franklin Square Medical Center's seven story tower has 291 single rooms but recently decided to close much of its pediatric services.
Franklin Square Medical Center's seven story tower has 291 single rooms but recently decided to close much of its pediatric services. (Jed Kirschbaum / Baltimore Sun)

Your article on the closing of pediatric services at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center made it sound like it was no big deal ("Baltimore's MedStar Franklin Square hospital closing some pediatric services," April 4). In truth, the closing of a dedicated Pediatric Emergency Room and inpatient unit is a significant blow to the surrounding community.

Your article also does not answer the question of how this closing will affect the number of underprivileged children in southwest Baltimore County who went to Franklin Square's emergency department due to a lack of access to primary care. What steps were taken before this decision was made to assure that the community's needs would be met? Rather than the purported "shift to outpatient care," was this, more likely, a purely financial decision to improve the bottom line of the hospital?

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Urgent care centers do not provide the level of care that a fully equipped and staffed pediatric emergency facility provides. The article makes it sound like Franklin Square made a calculated decision based on what's best for the children and adolescents; those of us in the medical community feel otherwise. Omitted from your article, and a major concern for those who care for children, is the fact that Franklin Square, under Dr. Scott Krugman's guidance, had created a nationally recognized child abuse program that served all of Baltimore County. This important program was swiftly terminated, with no apparent consideration of the consequences.

Franklin Square Hospital's closing their pediatric services is a big deal for Baltimore County's children and adolescents and their families.

Dr. Timothy F. Doran, Towson

The writer is chairman of pediatrics at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

Send letters to the editor to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

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