Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Emergency Department at Memorial Hospital Miramar Becomes Florida's First Autism Certified Emergency Department

April 19, 2023


Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Emergency Department at Memorial Hospital Miramar has just been awarded the accolade of becoming Florida’s first emergency department to earn the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation through The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).

As part of the CAC designation process, at least 80% of physicians, nurses, and patient-facing department staff completed a training and certification program to better understand the autism spectrum and strategies for communication, patient interaction, and safety. IBCCES also reviewed the emergency department onsite to provide additional supports, recommendations, and tools to enhance access and options for autistic patients and their families.

“Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Emergency Department at Memorial Hospital Miramar is a hub for world-class pediatric care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and that means exceptional care in a way that supports patients who have autism and their caregivers,” said Carolina Fisher, Patient Care Associate at Memorial Hospital Miramar. “It takes a village to raise a child. It takes an autistic child to raise the consciousness of the village”.

The Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Emergency Department at Memorial Hospital Miramar offers a low sensory room and private exam rooms for patients who have autism or other sensory sensitivities. Offering care that includes a patient and family in each step of the process is vital. With autistic individuals being eight times more likely to visit an emergency room it’s essential to provide appropriate training for ER staff so that patients and their families and caregivers feel confident that they will receive supportive care.

“Certification has provided me with knowledge to understand the behavior and needs of this vulnerable population,” said Mathilda Sequeira, RN, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Emergency Department nurse. “Children with autism and their families can now be comfortable and trust us to take care of their child’s needs. It has empowered us to provide a supportive environment where they can be understood and supported.”

“We understand how important it is for autistic children to feel safe and supported when they seek medical care. That’s why we have designed our training programs to empower staff to improve communication with patients and parents to achieve better outcomes and treatment plans,” IBCCES board chairman Myron Pincomb said. “We are excited to see our training in place at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Emergency Department at Memorial Hospital Miramar, making it a more welcoming place for autistic patients and their caregivers.”

IBCCES has been an industry leader for over 20 years in cognitive disorder training and certification for education, health care, and corporate professionals around the globe. The organization provides evidence-based training and certification programs created in conjunction with clinical experts and the perspectives of autistic individuals, alongside other resources, ongoing support, and renewal requirements to ensure there is continued learning and a lasting impact.

IBCCES also created, as a free online resource for families that lists certified locations and professionals. Each organization listed on the site has met the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.


Delivering The Global Standard For Training and Certification in The Field of Cognitive Disorders – IBCCES provides a series of certifications that empower professionals to be leaders in their field and improve the outcomes for the individuals they serve. These programs recognized around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders.