Pikeville Medical Center’s (PMC) Mettu Children’s Hospital has been named a Certified Autism Center (CAC) by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The CAC credential requires at least 80% of public-facing staff to undergo IBCCES training in autism and sensory differences.

This certification aims to better prepare staff and management to treat individuals with autism or sensory requirements, as those with autism typically have different needs related to communication, pain perception and other treatments. The IBCCES program was created by clinical experts as well as individuals on the autism spectrum to ensure a well-rounded approach.

“As the rates of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) continue to rise in our region, and with the Appalachian Valley Autism (AVA) Center treating many of those children, it is critical our departments undergo these types of training. Our goal is to ensure our staff members gain the knowledge and the skills required to provide the best care possible for all our patients,” said Tondra Blevins, RNC, PMC Director of Women and Children Services. “The journey to becoming a Certified Autism Center has further expanded our knowledge and allows us to treat our patients better, not only from an outpatient status but an inpatient status as well.”

PMC has worked with IBCCES, a global leader in online training and certification programs, to be designated as a Certified Autism Center (CAC) in several other departments as well, including the Appalachian Valley Autism (AVA) Center, the Urgent Care and Family Wellness Center and the Emergency Department (ED). These teams have also completed training and certification in best practices when assisting patients on the autism spectrum.

For more information about the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, visit www.ibcces.org. For more information about Pikeville Medical Center, visit www.pikevillehospital.org.