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New Detailed Plans for Golisano Children’s Hospital Tower Adds More Family, Play Spaces

At first glance, it is apparent that the new Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center is designed around the common theme of supporting our patients – and their families. The most exciting features of the new building are the many spaces planned for gathering, playing, resting and finding respite.

The new $180-million tower, attached to the medical center and Strong Memorial Hospital, will be eight floors and approximately 245,000-square-feet of space dedicated to children and their families. The groundbreaking is planned for late summer or early fall this year with an expected opening in 2015. It is being financed through a combination of equity, loans, and a comprehensive fundraising effort.

Golisano Children’s Hospital’s $100-million campaign, which launched publicly in October 2011, supports both a new children’s hospital and major enhancements to pediatric programs. The effort is part of the University of Rochester Medical Center’s $650-million campaign and the overall $1.2-billion goal of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester.

“I am thrilled with the work that our planning team has done so far,” said URMC CEO Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D. “It truly reflects how deeply we value patient- and family-centered care, especially for our youngest patients.”

Not only will the new building give pediatric patients and their families private rooms, it will include a new hospitality suite that parents can use to shower, eat home-cooked meals as a family or even run a load of laundry.

“Our families are so dedicated to participating in the care of their children while they’re hospitalized that our nurses have to firmly remind them to take care of themselves, too. Having these services so close will make it easier for all our parents to stay rested and nourished,” said Nina F. Schor, M.D., Ph.D., pediatrician-in-chief at Golisano Children’s Hospital and chair of URMC’s Department of Pediatrics.

A resource library will allow families to learn more about the illness or injury their children have, and a concierge service will assist parents with errands or needs that allow them to focus on their ill or injured child.

After children go home from Golisano Children’s Hospital, many say the most memorable moments are from the playrooms and the playdeck, a large play space filled with natural light. The new hospital will fully embrace this need for play and normalcy with a toddler playroom and a new two-story playdeck on the seventh floor. Above that, on the eighth floor, will be a school room and a teen room that will overlook the playdeck. An outdoor rooftop playspace and a healing garden are also planned.

The two general care floors will each include a respite lounge, allowing parents to rest in a living room-like atmosphere. These rooms will give parents a place to bond with other parents in similar situations.

“The new hospital will help us provide state-of-the-art medicine for our region’s children, but our families’ needs reach far beyond the latest technology,” Schor said. “Our children need to play and learn even when they’re sick. Our parents need support, information and, sometimes, they just need a shower, a cup of coffee and a little break from the stress of having a sick child.”

The new pediatric operating rooms and the new Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit/Pediatric Intensive Care Unit will open in the new building in 2016. In a later phase of construction, the Ronald McDonald House within the hospital will also be relocated.

Elizabeth R. McAnarney, M.D., professor and chair emerita of Pediatrics at URMC, said her new role as co-chair of the hospital’s capital campaign has been particularly rewarding.

“This dream of a hospital built from the ground up for our region’s children and their families is becoming a reality,” she said. “We have a considerable amount to do before we can open the doors of the new children’s hospital, but the extensive plans for the new hospital allow us to all fully appreciate what we can do for children when all adults work on behalf of children’s best needs.”

For a virtual tour of the building, visit


Posted March 30, 2012

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