Baltimore already has some of the best hospital facilities in the country, but in the last few months, both Johns Hopkins Medicine and Sinai Hospital opened new buildings that will make local health-care options even better, particularly for children.
The new Hopkins facility consists of two 12-story towers and an eight-story connecting building totaling 1.6-million-square-feet of space. The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center will move to the eastern tower, called the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center after the late mother of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who made a large gift to help build the new facility.
The western tower houses cardiovascular, neurology, and labor and delivery services, as well as a broad range of surgical procedures. It is named Sheikh Zayed Tower, in tribute to the late first president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), after his son, current UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, contributed to its construction. The connector building includes both pediatric and adult operating rooms and diagnostic equipment.
Patients moved into the new facility, which cost $1.1 billion, April 29, but medical staff had been training for several weeks before that.
“It’s far more than we could have hoped for,” says Claire Beers, the nurse manager of the pediatric intensive care unit. The new PICU now has room for 40 patients, up from 32.
Patients moved into the new Herman & Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai on March 19, and both staff and patients are excited about the new facility, which includes 26 single-bed rooms, each with accommodations for patients’ families. A large play area includes a foosball table, video-game stations, endless toys, instruments, and a waterbed. There’s a Build-A-Bear station in the lobby and screens with live feeds from the National Aquarium.
Treatment rooms include “distraction stations,” rolling consoles that project videos and feature kid-controlled towers of colored bubbling water to distract them during uncomfortable or painful procedures like IVs or spinal taps. “It sort of demystifies the whole place,” says Sinai chief of pediatrics Dr. Joseph Wiley.
Patients are already giving rave reviews.
“We had a 9-year-old boy who came to visit us, because he was scheduled to have orthopedic surgery, and he was very nervous,” says Laura Cohen, Sinai’s child life director. “We toured the room and the play room, and by the time he left, he couldn’t wait to come back.”