Cranes tower above the rest in jobsite safety

These German-made cranes include anti-collision technology for jobsite safety.

These German-made cranes include anti-collision technology for jobsite safety.

When you’re building a 7-story medical tower, communications among construction crew members are vital, especially when you’re at the top of two tower cranes.

At 249 and 209 feet tall, these cranes provide full coverage of Akron Children’s medical building construction site. But they also create a potential collision hazard called crane interference, putting workers and property on the ground at risk.

Paul Becks

Paul Becks

“One swing can affect the entire job site,” said Paul Becks, Welty-Boldt project manager. “Cranes are a constant presence above large construction sites, requiring constant attention and safety protocols.”

There are two members of the construction team on each crane – an operator, who sits in a seat at the top, and an oiler, who performs maintenance.

The operators need to communicate with each other and the oilers at all times to avoid potential interference.  The possibility for miscommunication occurs when operators are busy with other aspects of their job, like monitoring load capacity and moving loads.

“In keeping with the continuous improvement mindset of the project, we saw an opportunity to spur positive change on both our jobsite and in the industry,” Becks said.

All Tower Cranes, the company that provided the two German-made cranes, learned of anti-collision technology being used in Europe that wasn’t yet in use in the U.S.

Convinced that this technology was something that would positively impact not only the Akron Children’s project, but also the construction industry, All Tower Cranes installed the device free of charge. The installation is the first of its kind in the United States.

On Aug. 13, a French technician and two mechanics from All Tower Cranes performed the installation.

All that was required was the addition of a sensor on each crane, which ties in with those already on the cranes to monitor weight and movement.

View from one of the cranes

View from one of the cranes

The new sensors, which communicate wirelessly in real-time, provide a 360-degree view of the other crane’s location, which the operator can see on a monitor. The device senses potential collisions, overrides the operator controls to stop both cranes, and counter-swings to compensate for momentum.

“The operators still have the primary responsibility for crane safety,” said Becks, “but they appreciate having the added level of assurance that the failsafe device provides, as do the workers on the ground under the cranes.”

The crane technology has great potential to improve jobsite safety, which is why Becks was so excited to get it.

“We not only want to drive innovation, but we want to help the rest of the construction industry,” he said.

Akron Children’s goes green with LEED to build new medical tower

Abstract design features in the future lobby play into the "things familiar" and backyard ideas. The blue wall represents an abstract fence. The design team is also working on large tree sculptures and a ceiling sculpture element to symbolize a tree canopy of leaves.

In the new building, many areas like the lobby will rely on a lot of natural light, one of the things engineered to get LEED certification.

When Akron Children’s new medical building opens in 2015, it will have a LEED for Healthcare Silver certification, reflecting the building’s environmentally-responsible and resource-efficient status.

Started in 1998, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings, based on potential environmental impacts and human benefits.  Recognizing that buildings in the healthcare industry face different challenges than office buildings and homes, there’s a special LEED for Healthcare.

Chris Mundell

Chris Mundell

“LEED is a volunteer program, not a code.  It provides guidelines,” said Chris Mundell, vice president/sustainable design coordinator at HKS Architects.

According to Mundell,  Akron Children’s intended this to be a LEED building from the earliest planning stages.  In May 2012, a LEED meeting was held with hospital administration, architects, engineers, contractors and trade partners to discuss ways to incorporate sustainable materials, lean principles and energy efficiencies.

Mundell admits that LEED can be a stretch for healthcare design.

“Healthcare facilities are open 24/7, making it difficult to manage energy and water use,” he said. “For example, a medical tower for children requires frequent air changing, which is hard on energy efficiency.”

Another challenge is using less water without impacting infection control.  One solution being considered, according to Mundell, is low-flow toilets and faucets in public restrooms.

“We are trying to be better than conventional healthcare facilities built to code,” said Mundell.  “We have a 15 percent energy reduction goal and a 30 percent water reduction goal.”

Akron Children’s primary focus is to make an impact through design and construction, such as healthier indoor materials, for the benefit of patients and employees, including low emission paints, adhesives, coatings and flooring.

“Sustainable construction materials, like the use of recycled materials, certified wood, and local sourcing of materials when possible, is another area of focus,” Mundell said.

The project teams are also addressing sustainability through more efficient mechanical systems, use of natural light and LED lighting, and adding green spaces where patients and staff can relax.

Although LEED initiatives can sometimes increase construction costs, Mundell stresses that for Akron Children’s the cost has been minimal.

“The necessary documentation of compliance with the requirements of the rating system is extra work and extra money,” he said. “And there are registration and certification fees, but good design decisions shouldn’t cost more.”

Once the building is completed, Akron Children’s will track water and energy use for five years after construction.

“Akron Children’s is still a work in progress. We are trying to create a nice facility that works operationally, but is still sustainable,” Mundell said.  “We can’t do everything, but we are using LEED to guide us.”

From houses to hospitals, architect is living the dream

Norio helps lead a kaizen workshop to design Akron Children's new NICU using small scale models.

Norio helps lead a kaizen workshop to design Akron Children’s new NICU using small scale models.

Norio Tsuchiya has dreamed of being an architect since he was in third grade and his best friend in Ecuador told him that some people design houses for a living.

So in 1991 when the opportunity arose, he made the trek to the United States to pursue his passion. He received his undergraduate degree from Letourneau University in Longview, Texas, and went on to earn his master of architecture at Texas A&M University.

He began his career designing upscale, modern homes, but soon realized he wanted to do more.

Norio Tsuchiya

Norio Tsuchiya

In 2007 he joined HKS Architects, where he began designing healthcare facilities around the country that impacted the lives of hundreds of people. Today, he’s vice president and senior project designer of the Dallas-based firm’s healthcare academic and pediatric team.

“In some ways, it has been way more than I was thinking that I would be doing,” said Tsuchiya, reflecting upon his childhood dream. “I’m still doing things that I love to do − to create beautiful buildings, but [I’m designing] spaces that help people heal and feel better. I can’t ask for more than that.”

Tsuchiya is now digging deep into Akron Children’s Hospital’s $200 million “Building on the Promise” expansion campaign. As lead designer, he led the collaborative effort to design the exterior elements of the medical tower, now under construction.

The exterior design was derived from visioning sessions with Akron Children’s leaders, staff, patient families, and the community.

When family members communicated a desire for individual spaces and lots of natural light in the new neonatal intensive care unit, Tsuchiya and his team were sure to incorporate these aspects into the new building.

HKS Architects and Akron Children's sent 1,000 origami cranes to Hiroshima to be placed at the Children's Peace Monument.

HKS Architects and Akron Children’s sent 1,000 origami cranes to Hiroshima to be placed at the Children’s Peace Monument.

In addition, Akron Children’s Hospital President and CEO Bill Considine expressed interest during these sessions to create an inviting and naturally lit front entrance – not only to offer families comfort when approaching the hospital, but also as a wayfinding tool.

Tsuchiya and his team expanded upon that vision, creating a transparent path illuminated with an innovative lighting system to connect the new parking garage to the tower’s main lobby and then again to the existing hospital’s lobby.

Norio Tsuchiya“The building isn’t just a device to create this aesthetic vision,” said Tsuchiya, who, now that construction is well underway, only steps in to problem-solve if issues arise on how the design is conceived. “We’re trying to let the design communicate some of the ways that the building actually works.”

With a mellow personality and soft-spoken nature, it’s no surprise Tsuchiya is making a name for himself designing healthcare facilities — from children’s hospitals to teaching hospitals — that incorporate calm and relaxing healing environments.

“That sort of attention to the patient experience is what I love about doing architecture in healthcare,” he said. “Everybody thinks that you have to plaster it with color and make it really busy. I think I’m able to temper that urge to go crazy and really consider the experience of everybody.”

Day in the Life: A union steward and laborer

Cedric SommervilleIt’s a warm, fall morning and Cedric Sommerville begins his day a little after 7 a.m., putting out water for all of his crew members.

He and his laborers have a busy day ahead of them. A concrete pour is scheduled for that afternoon and the wall panels and floor “tables” must be in place.

Sommerville’s a Local 894 union steward and laborer for the Welty/Boldt Co. on Akron Children’s Hospital’s $200 million “Building on the Promise” expansion campaign.

Cedric Sommerville

As he walks the job site to ensure it’s free from safety hazards, he notices one of his laborers could use a hand. He jumps right in and helps Briant carry a handrail and then hold it in place, while a carpenter screws it down.

Sommerville’s main role is to make sure each of his 16 laborers is being treated fairly, performing their jobs and working smoothly with the other crews on-site. If a problem arises, he’s there to help settle the issue with the construction foreman.

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“Coming out of the Local 894, they expect a certain amount of responsibility out of their laborers and I’m here to make sure that the company that hired them gets it,” he said.

Cedric Sommerville works with a team to build the new medical tower at Akron Children'sLucky for Sommerville and his workers, things are running smoothly with minimum issues and no major injuries. That’s unheard of, especially more than three months into construction.

Normally, something arises right off the bat, he said. Sommerville’s even had to call in a union representative to settle issues in extreme circumstances — something he hasn’t had to do at Akron Children’s.

He credits the smooth process to the project’s Integrated Lean Delivery Method and team environment to the leaders at Welty/Boldt. They are on the site daily, talking to crews and assessing safety concerns to keep the project running as efficiently as possible.

“It’s like everyone’s on their best behavior,” said Sommerville. “It’s like they know we’re working at a children’s hospital, and they know [the kids] are watching out the window.”

With no issues to settle today, Sommerville begins his daily duties as a laborer. Today, he’ll be stock piling and transporting materials, helping to pour the concrete and cleaning up the job site.

Cedric Sommerville

His laborer, Hutch, calls him over for help. He helps him stack a pile of concrete panels, wrapping them in rope and hooking the load to the overhead crane.

The crane operator then lifts the stack and transports it to the other side of the job site, where they will be placed as a mold for the pour later that day.

“Just trying not to be nit-picking on every little thing,” said Sommerville on what it takes to succeed here. “You’ve got to give and take some. Most of all, treat people with respect. Talk to them instead of hollering and screaming at them.”

Sommerville got his start in the business 20 years ago after walking past a Ruhlin Construction project and walking onto the site to apply for a job. After much persistence and never giving up, he finally got the call to report to work there.

Cedric Sommerville assists a laborer

Since then, Sommerville has worked on several construction sites for Akron Children’s, the Hoover plant in Canton and Dirt Devil in Solon, to name a few. He has served as the Local 894’s union steward for eight years and its Sergeant of Arms for five.

“You just work around new people all the time, you get to meet new friends,” he said as the best part about this job. “If you get laid off, you can call them and [we support each other].”

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.”

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.

Parents weigh in on design of future NICU

Moms who consider themselves “NICU grads” received a detailed look at how Akron Children’s new NICU is taking shape and weighed in on some remaining questions posed by the architects.

About a dozen parents attended a focus group Nov. 13, led by HKS architect Rachel Saucier and HKS interior designers Beck Luthman and Andrea Sponsel.

Saucier showed parents the most up-to-date architectural renderings of the hospital’s new critical care tower, which will also include a new ER and outpatient surgical suite.

She also showed NICU floor plans, which will include 75 private rooms, including a few to accommodate twins.

“From an industry perspective, single rooms are the way to go,” said Saucier. “They are family-centered and say, ‘We want you to be here.’ Plus, they support what the infant needs. Private rooms allow you to adjust the light, sound and temperature for each infant’s needs.”

The current floor plans show all patient rooms along the perimeter so each room will have a window view.

Each room will include the baby’s isolette and a reclining chair that’s ideal for a parent practicing “kangaroo care,” skin-to-skin cuddling which has been proven beneficial for newborns in many ways. Each room will also have a sleep sofa, TV and a private bathroom.

Infants arriving from either helicopter or ground transport will reach the floor via centrally-located elevators.

“One of the biggest drivers behind our design is to move the infants as little as possible,” said Saucier.

The architects were looking for parent feedback in several areas: what they especially liked about the current NICU and what they wanted in the future NICU’s private rooms and shared spaces.

Megan Pollock, who spent 10 weeks in the NICU with her son, would love to recreate the look and feel of the hospital’s Reinberger Family Center.

“Some people spend weeks, if not months, in the NICU,” she said. “As much as possible, you want it to have the comfort of home.”

Parents asked about the possibility of having a chapel/meditation room in the NICU and if siblings would be allowed in the private patient rooms.

Mary Beth Fry suggested the name “quiet room” instead of “consultation room.”

“Consultation room sounds scary to me,” she said. “It sounds like a place I am going to get bad news.”

The architects asked parents to write comments on colorful Post-It Notes, using the prompts, “I think.” “I hear.” “I feel.” “I see.”

Post-it notes shared on a wall in the room expressed thoughts such as:

  • “I see my baby here, comfortable and welcoming.”
  • I feel my privacy is being respected.”
  • I hear by baby’s siblings playing with toys nearby.”
  • I think, Wow, this is in Akron?”

Saucier said the meeting was worthwhile in that the parents voiced several ideas the architects need to consider more closely.

“A hot topic was having a good place to clean and store moms’ breast-pumping equipment,” she said. “Security [keeping babies safe yet allowing parents easy access to them] was also very top of mind for these parents. It’s something we have talked about but this meeting really reinforced the importance of getting it right.”

Learn more about Akron Children’s Building on the Promise project.

Putting the You in NICU

Jordan happy to see his NICU nurse, Betty, at the Kaizen to help design Akron Children’s Hospital’s new neonatal intensive care unit.

Jordan and I attended the mock-up of Akron Children’s new neonatal intensive care unit last month. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect. In fact I should have prepared ourselves for a longer stay with more snacks and distractions for the little man.

As usual he was a little distraction himself, however it appeared some of the staff needed a little sidetrack from being there for 2 ½ days and facing 2 ½ more. As we walked through he brought out his little trick of pointing at someone only to have a finger pointed back as he quickly snatched their finger and giggled with that two toothy grin.

The layout of the new floor is amazing. The cardboard layout gave a small glimpse of the size of what our new NICU will look like. The twin rooms were set up for the staff to break into two groups to discuss what they felt would best suit the staff and families.

Some discussions consisted of where a sink should be placed to allow counter space, whether a sliding door should be placed in between two rooms or a regular door with blinds. Another question was about where the linens and trash should be placed to decrease the amount of people who enter the room.

Megs and Jordan participate in discussions about new NICU.

Lots of questions we don’t typically think about when we’re sitting and watching our little ones as they’re being treated. I enjoyed watching the brainstorming take place. They were also gracious enough to ask what I thought as a parent.

The building staff asked where, as a parent, would I want to be if I was going to be discussing “news” about my child. Personally I felt a small conference room would be fine, and if a procedure would need to be done in our room, I would want to sit with Randy in the small common area close by.

After a break we took a pretend tour of what we would see as we entered the floor from the elevator. We considered what kind of greeting we would have and what would be promoted as a warm welcome scene. What would the kids’ area look like? Where should the bathrooms go? (Jordan spoke up that he would like to see kiddy potties that are lower to the ground.)

We also talked about the laundry room and refrigerators that allow families to store their food that they brought from home.

My thoughts wandered to the feeling we have when we enter the hospital’s Reinberger Family Center. I feel a sense of safety and security. It’s a place that allows my shoulders to relax a little and causes me to sigh if it’s ok.

My mind was zigzagging throughout the next night thinking of more ideas I would love to share.

Jordan sits in nurse Betty’s lap.

However, although buildings and facilities can help make you feel like you’re in a great place, what makes me feel like a million bucks are the people. It’s awesome to have a nurse or doctor see you after being away for 16 months and offer encouragement at how well your child looks.

It’s the people who make the experience.

As we entered the NICU reunion last month, we were greeted by the nurse who gave us the encouragement and knowledge about caring for our little peanut. She assisted in teaching Jordan and me about how to get the best nutrition possible through nursing.

As we sat next to his bedside she kept tabs on how Jordan was feeling through watching his monitors and taking care of his roommate. We gazed in awe as she effortlessly transferred him from his isolette to our chest for kangaroo care. There aren’t enough words to express what Betty means to our family.

Dr. Protain with Jordan and Megs at NICU Kaizen.

As we wrapped up our day, we were able to briefly catch up with Jordan’s first girlfriend, Dr. Protain. During our stay, when she made her rounds she would approach Jordan by stating, “there’s my boyfriend.”

I can’t tell you the warmth we felt as she interacted with him 16 months later. It is these types of experiences that makes Akron Children’s Hospital sparkle. I treasure the fact that we’ve had the honor of meeting so many angels through our experience, but it’s comforting to know these heroes put their capes on daily.

Read more about Megs’ and Randy’s journey of raising a child with spina bifida through her blog, Labor of Love.

No kid wants surgery, but here’s to making the process the best it can be

How do we build a same-day surgery center that satisfies the needs and desire of everyone – patients, patient families, doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses and surgical support teams?

As Akron Children’s Hospital moves forward with its plans to build a $200 million critical care tower, teams continue to meet, brainstorm and test out architectural designs in a true-to-scale setting during weeklong Kaizens. Kaizen is a Lean term that refers to improving processes continually by making incremental changes.

Parents Beth Tenda and Judy Doyle participate in the Kaizen to design the new outpatient surgery space.

In September, a team representing outpatient surgery gathered in a warehouse, where cardboard-like walls defined surgical suites, recovery rooms, pre-op areas and other spaces and allowed doctors, nurses and patients to move through their typical day.

As the Kaizen began, several issues were front and center:

  • The need to create the ideal number of surgical suites based on current patient volumes as well as future growth.
  • The need to keep the ORs running as efficiently as possible, taking into consideration the ebb and flow of higher and lower volume procedures, as well as planned and emergency cases.
  • Focus on flow – How much walking will be required for patient families, as well as the doctors and nurses?
  • Movement of supplies in and out of the ORs. Surgical instruments come into the room sterile and the proper equipment must be assembled for each case, whether it’s an ENT procedure, an eye surgery or an orthopedic case.
  • Providing a calm environment that promotes privacy.

As the week began, it felt like this was an impossible task to come up with a floor plan that addressed all of these concerns and made everyone – from the anesthesiologists to the surgeons and the surgical support team – happy.

We were reminded again that Akron Children’s is a dedicated pediatric hospital and that children are not “just small adults.” The team worked to ensure excellent sight lines of patients in the recovery unit design to enhance patient safety.

“Unlike an adult hospital, children in the recovery unit don’t necessarily stay in bed,” said clinical coordinator Tina Sanzone, RN, BSN. “We need to have patients in view to ensure patient safety.”

The team went through phases of anticipation, discouragement and hope as each day welcomed success, frustration and new architectural drawings of the space. Each layout, when constructed three-dimensionally, generated dissatisfaction that the ideal plan still had not been developed.

Until Day Four.

When the exhausted team found their architectural team had worked overnight to meld the best ideas from two of the previous designs, they realized they finally had a winner.

The last design greatly improved patient flow. It offered easy access to storage. Doctors and nurses were not wasting extra steps within surgical suites or between them and other key spaces. The plan built in flexibility for growth and change down the road.

“The translation of design from paper to three dimensions can be eye opening,” said Beth Carr, MSN, MBA, RN, director of Nursing for Surgical Services. “When you see a design on paper, you envision it to work correctly. It’s not until you are actually in the space, and moving within it, that you realize it may not be ideal. The process takes time and patience. When you think there are no options, options present themselves.”

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.