Families and University of Michigan Health System staff topped a large evergreen in the hospital lobby with a gold star at the Christmas tree lighting festival on Tuesday, held to celebrate the anniversary of the C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital’s first year of operation in its new building.
This milestone commemorates the completion of the $754-million space for UMHS faculty, patients and families. Chris Dickinson, the hospital’s interim executive director, said he has watched the expansion of the hospital systems over the past two decades.
“Personally, I’ve been working here as a pediatrician since 1984, and it’s just nice to see the building, the programs associated with the building, the people and more importantly the patients and families really be happy with a first class job,” Dickinson said.
Since the hospital moved to the new building, 32 physicians in nine pediatric specialties were hired and the nursing staff increased by 23 percent, according to a UMHS press release. Additionally, the new building is unique in that it houses the children’s and women’s care facilities under the same roof, Dickinson said.
“The fact that we have been able to keep the women’s hospital in the children’s hospital, that doesn’t happen a lot,” Dickinson said. “Most places, if you are a sick mom or a healthy mom with a sick baby, you are cared for in two different buildings and there needs to be a transfer after delivery and that doesn’t need to happen.”
The building has a 12-story inpatient wing and a 9-story outpatient wing that includes 16 operating rooms, two interventional radiology rooms, a pediatric emergency room and a Ronald McDonald house facility. There are 348 private rooms equipped with food ordering capabilities, as well as Internet and movies.
“The biggest change has been individual private rooms with space dedicated for a family member,” Dickinson said. “It provides a comfortable place to sleep and there is not another baby waking them up across the room.”
He added that the flat screen televisions in patient rooms have been popular among patients and their families and create a more welcoming environment for new parents.
“Kids and parents enjoy the on-demand movies on the big, flat-panel TV screens in the rooms,” Dickinson said. “Even the neonatal intensive care unit has big screen TVs. ESPN is the number one viewed (channel). You see dads more engaged in care as well as moms.”
Richard Ohye, the head of the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Division, said the new building has had a significant impact on patient care.
“We built the whole hospital with them in mind and it has made a really big difference for our patients and their families,” Ohye said. “From a day-to-day operating standpoint it hasn’t changed all that much, but it’s made a huge difference for my program overall and my patients.”
One successful program housed in the new facility is the C.S. Mott’s Pediatrics Cardiology and Heart Surgery Division, ranked fourth by U.S. News and World Report on the magazine’s 2013 best hospitals list.
“Overall, it’s been really successful as far as from my program, pediatric cardiovascular surgery,” Ohye said. “The ability to all be together in one area, both the surgeons and the cardiologists, (has) been really great in helping patient care for difficult, complex cases or talking about research and education.”
While the state-of-the-art bedrooms entice patients, the building’s architecture is environmentally friendly and features reduced carbon dioxide emissions, efficient toilets, rainwater storage for site irrigation and a LEED Silver certification.
Dickinson said the one-year anniversary is intended to celebrate successful patient care in the new building, which facilitates medical breakthroughs and miracles on a daily basis.
“Almost every day here there is a ‘wow moment’ where we do something really remarkable for a child or a mom that just doesn’t happen everywhere around the country,” Dickinson said. “We tend to take it for granted because we have a lot of really great doctors, nurses and other staff that work here every day to make that happen. I’m just very happy and proud to be part of that.”