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UI Children’s Hospital unveils new features

BY JAKE MCCULLEY | OCTOBER 22, 2013 5:00 AM

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Brightly colored rooms and natural scenery will be the newest updates released for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

The Children’s Hospital held an open house Monday to release updated information about the new facility, which is currently under construction, and will continue to allow the public to view the changes today.

“From the very beginning, we have involved the people who would benefit the most from its design: the patients and their families,” UI spokesman Tom Moore said. “They’ve helped choose everything, from types of furnishing, to the room layout, even the lighting.”

The Children’s Hospital is scheduled to be finished by the fall of 2016, and $292 million facility will have 134 private patient rooms and come equipped with “state-of-the-art” technology. It also features some differing design from the University Hospitals & Clinics, thanks in part to the input of young patients.

The newly updated design features brightly colored hallways, which one parent thinks will promote positivity for the children.

“It’s wonderful. It’s beautiful,” said Sara Johnson, whose son is a patient in the hospital. “A lot of work is going into making these kids happy. Not just healthy, but happy.”

Kid-friendly features such as a playground and a movie theater will be added to the new building, but Jay Goodin, project manager of the Children’s Hospital, said the main reason for the new hospital is tied to a larger issue.

“The Children’s Hospital right now is spread across the whole campus,” Goodin said. “This hospital will centralize children’s care in one building, making everything more efficient.”

In fiscal 2013, the UI Children’s Hospital, which is currently housed in many buildings across the UI campus, treated 57,872 patients. This number has been steadily increasing for years, and the new hospital is expected to increase the number of patients again, said Jennifer Thompson, senior project manager at UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Goodin said nature also plays a large role in the design of the new hospital and cited past evidence of the important role it plays in helping patients. The hospital’s oblong shape will help capitalize available sunlight and nature for patients.

“Evidence shows that access to nature enhances the healing process, so you’ll notice a lot of glass,” he said. “That connection to the outside [nature] is important. We want this to have a ‘hospital in the park’ feel.”


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