Community open house set for April 26 to celebrate opening of Kay Jewelers Pavilion

Kay Jewelers PavilionHere’s your first chance to step inside Akron’s newest gem and celebrate our community’s most precious jewels – kids.

Patient families, friends and the general public are invited to take their first look inside Akron Children’s Hospital’s new $180 million Kay Jewelers Pavilion at a community open house from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 26.

The open house will include:

  • guided tours of our new ER, NICU, GOJO Outpatient Surgery Center and special delivery unit for high-risk newborns
  • kids’ games and activities, including life-size versions of popular board games and a photo booth
  • entertainment, including performances by local kids, puppeteers, costumed characters and a bubble artist
  • Doggie Brigade volunteers

Attendees will also have an opportunity to draw pictures that will become part of a permanent, public artwork at the hospital.

A Look Inside

Kay Jewelers Pavilion lobby

Kay Jewelers Pavilion lobby

The interior of Kay Jewelers Pavilion features a “backyard” theme echoing the joys of childhood and the idea that Akron Children’s has been a treasure in greater Akron’s own backyard since 1890.

“Akron Children’s was founded 125 years ago this year as a day nursery and has grown into a regional health system with the depth and breadth of clinical services that truly enable us to serve all of the children who need us,” said Bill Considine, president and chief executive officer of Akron Children’s. “Every detail of Kay Jewelers Pavilion has been carefully planned with our patient families in mind – and we are thrilled to finally open our doors and invite everyone to see this exciting investment into our children’s well being.”

In following the backyard theme, our new NICU is “The Treehouse” – a soothing, healing environment where families can be comfortable while neonatologists and specially trained nurses care for the youngest and most fragile of infants.

In keeping with the backyard theme of the Kay Jewelers Pavilion, our new ER has a puddle theme

In keeping with the backyard theme of the Kay Jewelers Pavilion, our new ER has a puddle theme

Our ER, nicknamed “The Puddle,” was especially designed to facilitate a more natural flow of admissions.

The GOJO Outpatient Surgery Center, “The Sandbox,” will open with 4 operating rooms equipped for a variety of outpatient procedures, including ENT, ophthalmology, urology, dental and some plastic surgery cases.

Our new labor, delivery and recovery center, known as “The Garden,” is designed for cases when a baby is considered at high risk and in need of pediatric specialists the moment they are born.

New building interiors focus on the backyard theme

An abstract sculpture of a hanging tree will be a key interior design feature in the main lobby of the new building.

An abstract sculpture of a hanging tree will be a key interior design feature in the main lobby of the new building.

Colorful, engaging spaces and child-friendly art installations are woven throughout the fabric of Akron Children’s Hospital’s facilities. It’s an important part of the care we provide.

Spaces that make kids feel relaxed and happy, even though they’re in the hospital, can actually help with recovery and ease pain.

It was with this in mind that hospital leadership asked the design team for our 7-story medical tower to look “through the eyes of a child” during the planning process. The result is The Backyard, the new building’s design theme.

Each floor of the new building will represent a different aspect of the backyard, with its own paint, carpet, flooring and graphics to support the theme:

  • 1st Floor Emergency department will represent a puddle, with aqua as the primary color (a cool, calming palette)
  • 3rd Floor Outpatient surgery center will represent a sandbox, with a warm, orange color (a bright, lively palette)
  • 4th Floor High-risk delivery area will represent a garden, with a soothing, yet cheerful color palette
  • 6th Floor NICU will represent a daytime tree house, with green as the primary color (a tranquil, inspiring palette)
  • 7th Floor NICU will represent a nighttime tree house, with the tranquil, inspiring color of raspberry
The new ER space will represent the puddle in The Big Backyard Theme, using aqua as the primary color.

The new ER space will represent the puddle in The Big Backyard Theme, using aqua as the primary color.

When visitors walk off the elevators, they’ll also see large-scale murals representing the appropriate theme for each floor.

Other design considerations: LEED, patient needs, and more

Beyond the art and colors of the theme, the design team had other important considerations.

To achieve LEED Silver certification, the interior design team is avoiding paints with volatile organic compounds (VOC) and ensuring that carpet and flooring adhesives have low VOC levels. They’re also considering ease of maintenance.

“Hospital flooring is traditionally 12” x 12” tiles that need to be stripped and waxed,” said Andrea Sponsel of HKS Architects and one of the interior design team members.  “The new building will have sheet vinyl flooring that requires no wax, reducing fumes and downtime.  The flooring in the patient restrooms will also be a seamless, slip-resistant flooring, eliminating traditional grouted tiles that are harder to maintain.”

The needs of patients and their families have also been top of mind.

“We are designing for different age groups, cultures and demographics, and not just patients,” said Sponsel.  “We want this to be a nice destination for visiting siblings, too.”

Both the main lobby and outpatient surgery center waiting area will have play areas, featuring a backyard fence with peek-a-boo holes.

Orange will be the primary paint color of the outpatient surgery center.

Orange will be the primary paint color of the outpatient surgery center.

The holes will be placed at eye levels appropriate to different ages. When you peer through the holes lower to the ground, for instance, you’ll see graphic and interactive elements aimed at toddlers and preschoolers. The middle will be geared toward the child and young adolescent age groups, and the top will contain teen and adult content.

“Hospital staff saw the design and materials during their team sessions, and the families had input on the design ideas,” Sponsel said. “As the building is enclosed and walls go up, the finishes will start to be applied, with most of the work being completed by the end of 2014.”

Akron Children’s Hospital honors patients on new building with #graffitiproject (Photo gallery)

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Akron Children’s Hospital launched its Graffiti Project to honor current and former patients on the new medical building currently under construction on the Akron campus.

graffiti project

Construction crews are spray painting the patient names in 24-inch-high stenciled letters on the concrete beams of the new building.

The hospital kicked off the project yesterday with a reception that included hospital leadership, board members, donors and families of the first 24 patients to have their names painted on the building.

“We’ve asked Akron Children’s Hospital employees and doctors to nominate their current and former patients,” said Katy Berger, donor relations coordinator for Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Through February, the names of 200 patients will be spray-painted on floors 3 through 7 of the concrete facades facing E. Exchange Street and Perkins Square Park.

The construction crew has been using 15-inch-high stencils, and spray painting a few names at a time, as their schedules allow.

A 6-person committee decides which names are stenciled on the building.

Following the first 24 names, patients’ names are being added to the building in alphabetical order.

As construction continues, the names will be covered up by the exterior of the building.

“Once the project ends in late spring, everyone honored on the building will get a commemorative photo of their name in a frame,” said Berger.

See the list of names that have already been painted on the building.

Photos

Video

Meet Tom Conti: Man at work

tom-conti-with-plaqueTom Conti was born to build. In fact, his passion for construction can be traced back to his very first rattle  as a baby – a hammer.

“My wife just had a surprise 50th birthday party for me and my mom gave me [that rattle] as a gift on a little plaque,” said Conti, project superintendent for Welty-Boldt. “There’s never anything else I ever wanted to do.”

So after attending Akron’s former Central-Hower Vocational School, Conti began his career in 1985 at Seese-Sveda Construction as a carpenter.

He quickly moved up the ladder and, two years later, found himself working as a superintendent for the Akron-based firm until he later joined Welty in 2002.

Conti has helped transform downtown Akron by working on major construction projects for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Summa Health System, and the University of Akron, among others.

He prides himself on never missing a deadline, keeping projects on or under budget, and making safety a No. 1 priority in the field.

tom-conti-and-team-2

These days, Conti is busy digging deep into Akron Children’s Hospital’s $200 million “Building on the Promise” expansion campaign as the lead superintendent — a role he says is unlike any other.

“It’s a lot different than just being a superintendent on a project,” said Conti, referring to the development’s Integrated Lean Project Delivery method, the first of its kind in Ohio. “We’re all in this together. It creates that team atmosphere.”

Instead of the superintendent serving as the “lead overseer,” as he puts it, Conti partners and collaborates with each contractor on the job so they can create a lean, efficient process in the field.

tom-conti-and-team

It’s a position that fits Conti’s personality well. He exudes a team-player attitude and works well with others.

“We want to make this a happy job site for all the workers,” he said.

But what’s most fun for Conti is leading one of the largest projects in town.

“It’s quite an accomplishment for me,” he said. “I tell the guys out here that it’s an honor for all of us because it is a very unique and interesting project in Ohio.”

Team planning high-risk birth center has 182 collective years of OB experience

Scott Radcliff, of Hasenstab Architects, leads a brainstorming session.

Scott Radcliff, of Hasenstab Architects, leads a brainstorming session.

Last month, Akron Children’s announced that it would dedicate a floor in its new building to high-risk deliveries – a milestone in the hospital’s 123-year history.

This has long been a dream of hospital leaders like President and CEO Bill Considine, as well as the doctors who head up the hospital’s maternal fetal medicine and fetal treatment centers and neonatal intensive care unit.

Now comes the work to make this dream a reality.

Dr. Anand Kantak has long supported the plan to bring high-risk deliveries to Akron Children's as the ideal family-centered care.

Dr. Anand Kantak has long supported the plan to bring high-risk deliveries to Akron Children’s as the ideal family-centered care.

The first steps in planning the new space, which will be on the 4th floor of the medical building already under construction, took place Aug. 5 and 6.

A team of about 20 doctors, nurses, architects, administrators and Lean Six Sigma experts participated in a kaizen (Japanese word for “rapid improvement”) to give key stakeholders a say in how the space is designed.

A high-risk OB patient also participated the first day.

“Delivering babies on our campus may be uncharted territory for us, yet the doctors and nurses in this room have a collective 182 years of experience delivering babies at other hospitals,” said Lisa Aurilio, vice president for patient services and chief nursing officer.

Chief Nursing Officer Lisa Aurilio has also participated in kaizens for the ER and NICU.

Chief Nursing Officer Lisa Aurilio has also participated in kaizens for the ER and NICU.

The plan is to deliver approximately 100 babies per year when prenatal diagnosis determines the baby to be at risk and in need of immediate medical intervention by pediatric surgeons or other specialists upon birth.

This would include babies with congenital heart and neural tube defects, diaphragmatic hernias, and abnormalities that may affect the airway.

The team began by creating a vision statement for the new center. This was done by participants writing responses to prompts like, “I see…”, “I hear…”, “I think…” and “I feel….”

The input of the team members suggest they want to create an environment that's inviting, comfortable and focused on the highest quality of care.

The input of the team members suggest they want to create an environment that’s inviting, comfortable and focused on the highest quality of care.

Each team member was given 5 blue and 5 red dots to place on photos of the interiors of other birthing centers across the country. The exercise indicated the team is partial to soft rather than bright colors.

“They steered away from primary colors and starkness in favor of wood tones, a spa-like feel and interiors that convey home and comfort,” said Sherry Valentine, a project leader for Akron Children’s Mark A. Watson Center for Operations Excellence.

Sherry Valentine, Lean Six Sigma deployment leader, facilitates a group session.

Sherry Valentine, Lean Six Sigma deployment leader, facilitates a group session.

Other activities focused on issues of patient experience and staff work flows.

They looked at the proximity of operating rooms to patient rooms, how many steps doctors and nurses have to walk, storage space, the size and comfort level of the patient rooms, and the various “points of entry” for patients.

While most of these deliveries will be scheduled through maternal fetal medicine, the team also has to plan for the unexpected, including patients arriving via transport, 911 ambulance arrivals, and even the occasional “walk-in” mother-to-be in labor.

Jennie Evans, a registered nurse and medical planner with HKS Architects, offers insight.

Jennie Evans, a registered nurse and medical planner with HKS Architects, offers insight.

The team will make key decisions for the public/shared spaces, such as the waiting rooms, 3 ORs for C-sections, and 6 labor/delivery/recovery/postpartum rooms, which must also flexible enough to become 2 intensive care rooms and an isolation room, if needed.

Several participants talked about how the team “gelled” instantly and how they feel privileged to have a role in a history-making venture for Akron Children’s.

Drs. Melissa Mancuso and Stephen Crane are two of Akron Children's high-risk obstetricians.

Drs. Melissa Mancuso and Stephen Crane are two of Akron Children’s high-risk obstetricians.

“We are all very invested in this,” said Dr. Stephen Crane, director of maternal fetal medicine. “We have dreamed about this for years. It’s the right thing to do for our patients.”

Dr. Melissa Mancuso, co-director of the fetal treatment center, says the ability to perform high-risk deliveries will, over time, enable Akron Children’s to offer new treatment options, such as laser therapy for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, ex utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT) procedure, fetal therapy for cardiac conduction abnormalities and in utero release of amniotic bands.

“Of course the best reason for doing this is it keeps moms with their babies and keeps families together under one [hospital] roof. You can’t put a value on that,” said Dr. Mancuso.

That’s not to say the process will be easy.

“The most challenging aspect of this for our hospital is thinking beyond babies and children as patients,” said Aurilio. “Now mothers will be our patients as well, and that has implications for everything we do from insurance contracts to medical coding to laboratory procedures.”

First high–risk delivery paves way for new service to care for at-risk newborns

Flanked by her medical team, Angela Daniell, the mother of the first baby delivered at our Akron campus heads into the OR for a planned C-section.

Flanked by her medical team, Angela Daniell, the mother of the first baby delivered at our Akron campus, heads into the OR for a planned C-section.

We broke ground on May 30, and as you can see from the giant cranes near Locust and Exchange streets, construction is now well underway for the new ER, NICU, outpatient surgical suites and other amenities that will be housed in our new building.

Now its time to announce yet another milestone in Akron Children’s history.

CEO & President Bill Considine

CEO & President Bill Considine

“After much thought, discussion and planning, we have committed to creating space in our new building for high-risk deliveries,” wrote Bill Considine, president and CEO, in a letter to employees. “The maternal fetal medicine team, with help from our surgical and nursing leadership, performed the first of such high-risk deliveries on our Akron campus on May 10 and the story about this successful birth of a baby boy will be the subject of an upcoming Akron Beacon Journal story.”

High-risk delivery services were identified as a community need by our maternal fetal medicine team in their efforts to provide the best care possible for at-risk newborns.

“Our neonatal transport team is one of the best in the country, but we estimate that each year we have about 100 deliveries where there is an especially high risk in transporting a newborn to our hospital,” Considine said.

Examples include babies identified with congenital heart defects, neural tube defects, diaphragmatic hernias, abnormalities which may affect the airway, and other conditions that require the baby to have immediate access to pediatric specialists upon birth.

Baby Ashton's birth story is one for the history books

Baby Ashton’s birth story is one for the history books

Another benefit is that the labor, delivery and recovery rooms would keep mothers close to their newborns as they would just be an elevator ride away from our new NICU.

“This is a perfect extension of our commitment to family-centered care,” Considine said.

At this time, the plan does not include routine deliveries, or deliveries involving high-risk mothers, which will continue to occur at our partner hospitals in Akron and throughout our service area.

The hospital was involved in preliminary discussions with its Akron partners about moving routine deliveries here earlier this year, but those discussions did not result in a model that all agreed upon.

As with other aspects of the building, the building planning team will organize kaizens for these new operating and labor/delivery/recovery rooms.

Drs. Stephen  Crane and Melissa Mancuso and their teams in maternal fetal medicine and the fetal treatment center will work closely with our center for operations excellence team, architects, engineers and others to design this space.

“We have met with our colleagues at Akron General Medical Center and Summa Health System and they are supportive of this plan, recognizing it is in the best interest of babies and families, and that the previously undesignated space in the new facility presents a golden opportunity to pursue this,” Considine said. “The timing could not have been better. I know you will join me in celebrating this exciting part of our hospital’s history, and an important step to its future.”

Creating new building model is a snap (Photo gallery)

(L-R) Volunteer architects Dan Gilbert and Jonathan Morschl and associate development officer Brian Hollingsworth were instrumental in building the LEGO model.

(L-R) Volunteer architects Dan Gilbert and Jonathan Morschl and associate development officer Brian Hollingsworth were instrumental in building the LEGO model.

With a little more than a month for planning and construction, a team of 30 volunteers set out to achieve the unthinkable – construction of the new building at the Akron campus.

Under the architectural direction of Jonathan Morschl of Four Points Architectural Services, Inc. and Dan Gilbert of DLZ, the team produced the necessary designs, procured the right materials, deployed a loyal and skilled group of building experts, and completed the project on time.

Did we mention they built the building using LEGO®?

“We wanted to do something special for the groundbreaking,” said Brian Hollingsworth, associate development officer for the Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation. “We wanted a piece that would show people a visual representation of what the building is going to look like.”

Airbear, Akron Children's dedicated pediatric transport helicopter, will have a new helipad when the critical care tower opens

Airbear, Akron Children’s dedicated pediatric transport helicopter, will have a new helipad when the critical care tower opens

After some brainstorming within the Foundation, Gretchen Jones, the Director of Principal Giving, suggested a LEGO creation that would serve as a
centerpiece for the recent groundbreaking festivities.

Hollingsworth turned to social media to get ideas about how to replicate the building using LEGO and to recruit volunteers to build it.

After a simple Facebook post, the project took off, he said.

“We received just an amazing response,” Hollingsworth said. “People were liking it, commenting on it, and sharing it on their own pages. I received so many messages from people saying ‘I’m a Lego maniac’ or ‘I have a husband or a child who wants to do this.’”

Morschl and Gilbert helped plan the LEGO model so it would stand as a true representation of the new building when the real structure is complete.

They helped determine what types and quantities of Lego pieces would be necessary to build the model to scale with as much authentic detail as possible.

Assembly was challenging, but finding the materials was more difficult, said Hollingsworth. “It was hair-raising at times waiting for the mail to arrive to bring more essential LEGO bricks,” he said.

Ultimately, the model required several dozen different types of LEGO bricks, more than 12,000 pieces in all, and about 120 volunteer hours to construct. It stands 13 inches tall and 2 feet, 10 inches across, resting on a 4-foot-square platform.

The model may eventually find a home on display in the new building when it’s completed in 2015.

“It was a much bigger project than we thought at first,” said Hollingsworth. “It took a lot of volunteers to make it happen.”

Ceremonial groundbreaking celebrates future medical tower (Photo gallery)

Hospital President and CEO Bill Considine gets ready to shovel the ceremonial dirt with several kids.

Hospital President and CEO Bill Considine gets ready to shovel the ceremonial dirt with several kids.

Akron Children’s Hospital celebrated the expansion of its Akron campus with a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. on May 30 in Perkins Square Park. The backdrop of the event was the construction site.

The event started with brief remarks from Akron Children’s president and CEO Bill Considine, other hospital leaders, elected officials and a parent.

“We’re here today to celebrate the future of Akron Children’s Hospital and the future of healthcare for the children and families we care for throughout northern Ohio,” said Grace Wakulchik, Akron Children’s vice president of operations and chief operating officer.

A dirt turning ceremony followed the concluding remarks. Considine and some children were the first to get their “hands dirty,” while shoveling the ceremonial dirt.

Members of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and of the operations team also participated.

The new building is the centerpiece of the $200 million campus transformation project, Building on the Promise. It will feature:

  • A new neonatal intensive care unit with private rooms for our tiniest patients and their families
  • A new emergency department
  • A new outpatient surgery center
  • An enclosed concourse that takes patient families and staff from the new parking garage and beyond to the existing hospital

“This $200 million investment will transform the way we deliver care to the families we are privileged to serve, allowing us to build upon the promises made to the people of this community more than 100 years ago,” said Considine. “Promises that to this day, serve as guiding principles in everything we do.”

To watch the progress since the construction began this spring, view the live Web cam and view the photo gallery below to see the ceremony.

Going, Going, Gone (Video)

Akron Children's Hospital is building a new $200 million critical care tower on this site.

Akron Children’s Hospital is building a new $180 million critical care tower on this site.

Workers from Ray Bertolini Trucking demolished the former Wally Waffle building at Locust and West Exchange streets March 2.

It is the first of several buildings along Locust Street to be taken down in the upcoming weeks to make way for Akron Children’s new $200 million critical care tower. The tower will include a new emergency department, neonatal intensive care unit and outpatient surgical suites.

Constructed circa 1913, the building served as the home of United Vacuum Cleaners for nearly 60 years. Other previous tenants included Meeker’s Kitchen, Brendan & Finn’s Irish Pub, and Ed Niam’s Parkette Restaurant.

Wally Waffle has re-opened its restaurant in Akron’s Highland Square neighborhood.

Video: Child life specialists weigh in on Akron Children’s new critical care tower

Our child life specialists play a critical role in helping to reduce stress and anxiety for children and families before, during and after medical procedures. It’s a perspective they’re sharing with the team planning and building the new $200-million critical care tower at Akron Children’s Hospital.