The outlines of two glowing blue children—Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's logo—stand atop the hospital's new west tower expansion and illuminate the Milwaukee skyline. The new building's walls are covered in over 800 pieces of the hospital's patients' artwork, but that's not where the young patients' influence ends. Every detail of the new wing was designed with its pediatric patients' health, safety, and happiness in mind.
"Children's Hospital's new west tower utilizes principles of evidence-based health care design, which means creating environments that are therapeutic, supportive of family involvement, efficient for staff performance and restorative for workers under stress," Children's Hospital stated in a press release. "The goal is to achieve the best possible results for patients, families and staff while improving utilization of resources. The physical environment represents a key component in providing family centered care in pediatric settings."
All rooms in the 12-story building are private, which reduces the number of patient transports and some infection control issues.
"This new facility was built out of necessity," says Sara Silver-Traband, media specialist at Children's Hospital and Health System. "The previous facility had 236 licensed beds, and our winter census was in the high 280's. Our new facility will have 294 licensed beds with room for additional expansion in the future."
Construction on the west wing expansion was originally slated to begin in 2010, but in 2005 hospital executives realized the facility's patient days had already exceeded projections for growth to 2010 and admissions had increased 13.3% in the past five years. They then decided to expedite the construction process to meet the growing community need. The new wing opened on March 30, 2009. You can learn more about Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's west wing expansion at www.thisismychildrens.org.