Dayton Children’s Opens New Eight-Story Patient Tower to Transform Care

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Dayton Children’s officially opens a new 260,000-square-foot, eight-story patient tower revealing the flexible and innovative technology infrastructure inside that will transform care, as well as the hospital’s gift to the children that celebrates Dayton's aviation heritage as the birthplace of flight.

Dayton Children's Hospital

Dayton Children's Hospital

There are miracles happening here at Dayton Children’s - Javan Conley.

Dayton Children’s Hospital officially opens a new 260,000-square-foot, eight-story patient tower with a special event revealing the hospital’s gift to the children of the Dayton area. "Each space inside the new patient care tower embodies Dayton Children’s unique patient care mission and facilitates the delivery of world-class pediatric care," says Deborah Feldman, president and CEO. "Patients, families, physicians and staff all gave input to create an operationally efficient, supportive environment that includes a flexible and innovative technology infrastructure."

The design theme of the tower is “things that fly” to honor Dayton’s rich aviation heritage and innovation in flight. Visitors notice the theme the moment they cross the family-friendly lobby into the three-story atrium called the Take Flight Gallery. Filled with light, color and whimsy, this space houses the Culinairy Kitchen full service cafeteria, the Up Cafe for grab-and-go snacks and the Altitude gift shop. The main design feature in the Take Flight Gallery is the Dragonflyer.

The Dragonflyer is a specially commissioned art piece from Roto in Columbus, Ohio, that is a play space for children as well as a place to imagine and dream. It is a mash-up of what is and what could be, combining the beauty of a dragonfly that skims over the green fields of Huffman Prairie and the daring spirit that launched two Daytonians on wings of canvas and wood from the very same spot. The Wright brothers created their flying machines in Dayton, making their first test flights on Huffman Prairie.

While Dayton Children’s serves children and their families, those children also provide the inspiration to soar higher, think bigger, dream fearlessly and hope that every heartbeat will bring an innovation to make life better. So the Dragonflyer is a gift to them for inspiring that vision.

The new building design also features a rooftop play space with a mosaic created in part by Dayton Children’s patients, staff and partners. In addition, to make it easy for families to find their way, each floor has a designated number, color and playful icon, selected from things that fly, both man-made and those found in nature – for example, a hummingbird for the NICU and a biplane for the critical care center. Former patients, known as the Kid’s Advisory Council, helped choose the colors and icons for the floors.

Key design elements of the new patient tower include:

  •     Continuity of care - The new Comprehensive Cancer and Blood Disorders Center combines inpatient and outpatient care and includes a pharmacy, infusion rooms for chemotherapy, dedicated child life specialists and multiple indoor/outdoor play spaces.
  •     Better outcomes – The Newborn Intensive Care Unit enhances the commitment to family-centered and developmentally-sensitive care through single-family room design which has been proven to increase skin-to-skin contact, enhance success rates of breastfeeding, further reduce infection and noise, and increase privacy – ultimately creating better outcomes for the region’s most fragile babies. The new NICU also has a dedicated milk lab.
  •     Critical care technology – The critical care complex is a custom designed space to maximize efficiency and patient safety, while also providing more space for technology and family comfort for the most critically-ill and injured children in the pediatric intensive care unit and technology-dependent patients in our transitional care unit.
  •     Optimal healing environment: Patients requiring an overnight stay will benefit from the enhanced specialty pediatrics inpatient unit featuring larger single-family rooms, improved technology and upgraded amenities.

“There are miracles happening here at Dayton Children’s,” said Javan Conley. Conley’s son, Ethan, was treated at Dayton Children’s and is the only person in the world to have survived a severe rare muscle virus. “I look at my son as a miracle because he should not be standing here today. But by the grace of God and the staff here at Dayton Children’s, he is. After seeing these new spaces, I look forward to the future miracles that I know will happen here – it’s truly beautiful.”

This project would not be possible without the unwavering support of the community, which graciously donated more than $27 million to the effort. To support the community in return, Dayton Children’s kept 83 percent of the spend on the project local, hiring Dayton-based firms Danis Construction and Champlin Architecture to work with Houston-based architecture firm FKP, which specializes in building children’s hospitals. The project supplied 506 construction jobs and injected more than $101 million into the local economy.

“Anything is possible,” says Feldman. “As we reach one ending, a new beginning takes shape. We will keep our hopes and aspirations for our children and their families, always above the clouds, always reaching for the stars to ensure that the kids of the Dayton region have world class pediatric health care close to home. We could not be more excited to share this wonderful new patient tower and demonstrate that this is a community that puts kids first.”

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Stacy Porter
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