October 13, 2008

New Hospital Enhances the Quality of Life for South Carolina Families

By Epps, Tammy

"Lions, Tiger and Bears, Oh Myl" is the famous line from Wizard of Oz. A visitor to the new Palmetto Health Children's Hospital, located at Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia, might utter the very same phrase.

South Carolinas first free standing Children's Hospital recently held its grand opening celebration in May. Animals are alive at the new facility because each floor is themed around habitats from the Grasslands and Polar regions, just to name a few. Animals are seen in every nook and cranny, including the artwork, sculptures, toys and gift shop.

The new hospital:

* Expands the number of children's inpatient beds from 78 to 96;

* Creates a new 18-bed state-of-the-art Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Pediatric Intermediate Intensive Care Unit (PIICU) expanding its capacity from 14 to 18 beds;

* Enlarges PICU and PIICU rooms to accommodate the most technologically advanced equipment and professional staff required to care for critically ill and injured children;

* Builds a new bank of elevators allowing transport of patients and essential equipment to tertiary services;

* Creates a more family-centered environment including larger, more comfortable rooms for children and their families, including a sleeper chair;

* Provides age-appropriate play areas on each floor;

* Renovates the Hematology-Oncology Clinic;

* Creates the Tom Bates Day Hospital, including a laboratory dedicated for pediatric patients, where children not requiring an overnight stay can receive care;

* Adds a multi-purpose room and other amenities that will enable community outreach, staff and educational activities;

* Redesigns the lobby to create an atmosphere for families that is welcoming and an experience for children that integrates healthcare, education and entertainment.

"This is a dream came true. Every physician, nurse or support person already is proud of the quality care that we provide to each patient and their family, but now we have the kind of facility needed to enhance that ore" said Dr. Caughman Taylor, medical director of Palmetto Health Children's Hospital. "Every time I go through the facility, I get a warm feeling knowing that future children and families will now have the best facility and care when they need us the most. It's like Christmas in summer."

Hinging on Palmetto Health's donation of the $65 million building and $10 million investment paired with Palmetto Health Foundation $20 million capital campaign, construction of the building began in March 2007 and was completed May 2008.

Established in 1983, Palmetto Health Children's Hospital is the first children's hospital in South Carolina. Children's Hospital has more than 30 pedatric subspecialties and is a major pedatric referral center for children in all 46 counties. Helping improve the quality of life for Palmetto State families, the Children's Hospital treats more than 82,000 children each year.

Copyright South Carolina Business Journal Sep 2008

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