While giving a tour of the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital recently, I was struck by the improvements we’ve made in a short period of time.
We approached the children’s hospital from the corner of Archer Road and Newell Drive and admired its “storefront,” which features a primary colored façade and a soaring glass-paneled entryway into the Sebastian Ferrero Atrium. The welcome area is striking with its nature-themed art, interactive display, spacious waiting area, colorful flooring and elevators that depict soothing nature scenes. Each element was thoughtfully designed to ease children’s anxiety.
As we travelled from floor to floor, the continuity was apparent. The Pediatric E.R. on the first floor; the hematology/oncology units on the fourth floor; and the PICU and Pediatric Cardiac ICU (part of the UF Health Congenital Heart Center) on the 10th floor have all received updates in recent years, and they look the part. On the third floor, the NICU is currently getting its own renovation to transform the space into a more family-focused, comfortable environment.
If you put yourself in the shoes of a pediatric patient — navigating from the parking garage, through the Atrium to the floor or floors where he or she receives care — you would probably never know that our children’s hospital is a “hospital within a hospital.” And that was exactly what our Facilities team set out to accomplish.
The visual appeal of our pediatric facilities doesn’t end at the children’s hospital. In April, the UF Health Children’s Surgical Center moved into a brand-new location on Hull Road. In July, we opened a new UF Health Physicians pediatric practice in Tioga Town Center. These facilities share a family friendly look and feel, bringing further continuity to the patient experience.
As our pediatric facilities continue to improve, so does our pediatric care. In June, U.S. News and World Report’s annual Best Children’s Hospitals rankings once again placed us among the nation’s elite. Nine of our pediatric specialties ranked in the Top 50, the most to date.
It’s encouraging to see us continue to improve our pediatric care spaces to meet the needs of our patients, create a family-focused environment and support our outstanding care teams.
UF Health Communications