Story by: Joe Hall on March 2, 2021
Norton Healthcare cut the ribbon on its newly renovated Norton Children’s Hospital pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), marking the completion of a $78 million expansion and renovation project to improve critical care services for children and expand a family-centered approach to treating the region’s sickest kids.
The $9 million renovation of the PICU included transforming patient bays into a more private environment for families, as well as creating new space for physician and nursing education. Between the new PICU and the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU), total critical care capacity has grown from 26 to 38 beds. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the PICU is opening ahead of schedule, and patients are moving in this week.
“When we announced the renovations four years ago, our goal was to bring additional areas of our facility up to the same level of excellence as the care offered by our doctors, nurses and other staff,” said Emmett C. Ramser, chief administrative officer, Norton Children’s Hospital. “We’ve designed these new units to include family-oriented amenities, such as private rooms, play areas and other spaces to stay during their time here. Norton Children’s Hospital always aims to provide the very best approach to care.”
In March 2017, Norton Healthcare announced plans to invest $78.3 million to create the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation CICU and renovate the PICU and two of the neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in the hospital. The project also included building the S. Randolph Scheen Family Conference Center and a 24-bed medical/surgical unit.
The Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation committed $20 million toward the total renovation. More than $5.7 million of that was for the “Just for Kids” Critical Care Center, including $2 million from the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation and $2 million from community gifts for the CICU, and more than $1.7 million in community gifts for the PICU.
“Norton Children’s Hospital is the area’s only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center, which includes pediatric intensive care services,” said Lynnie Meyer, Ed.D., R.N., CFRE, senior vice president and chief development officer, Norton Healthcare. “This high level of care is not possible without the numerous donors who have ensured our children have access to the best treatment available.”
While the PICU opening marks the completion of the $78 million plan, other projects at the hospital are ongoing, including construction of an intermediate care nursery, a healing garden and replacement windows throughout the facility.