BOISE, Idaho — It took two years for St. Luke's to open Idaho's first-ever pediatric trauma program and doctors did so with no real road map to get here.

The program opened in April and has already helped treat children and reassure parents. In less than two months, doctors with the program have treated 23 children, all of which would have been seen only by traditional doctors before the program started.

To get here, the director of the pediatric trauma program, Dr. Kendra Bowman, had to create a series of simulations and drills for doctors and nurses on how to treat injured children. They had to be trained on how to stabilize patients, read x-rays on the fly and make a definitive plan on how to treat their young patients.

Since opening, doctors have seen a broad spectrum of injuries.

"Idaho, being a rural state and families that love the outdoors, we see everything from motor vehicle crashes in the city to farm accidents, drownings, bicycle accidents, ATV accidents, so we really see a wide range of injuries," Bowman said.

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She says the program has the right equipment and medicine to treat children of all ages.

"Children who come in can be an infant or a newborn or they can be an adult-sized teenager, so we have equipment and supplies and medication dosing for the entire range of the pediatric population," she said.

St. Luke's says this program is a natural extension of the care they are already providing and compliments the services they currently have in place.

The program is working with federal agencies that verify trauma centers across the country. They anticipate becoming a verified pediatric trauma center next June.

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