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Lutheran Children’s Hospital makes sweet music with completion of 16,000-square-foot third floor renovation

Project unites specialty and general care areas

Fort Wayne, Ind. (Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016) — Lutheran Children’s Hospital officials, physicians, staff and guests sliced a ceremonial ribbon Wednesday to celebrate the completion of a $4 million renovation project covering nearly 16,000-square-feet on Lutheran Hospital’s third floor. The eight-month project involved bringing all inpatient pediatric services together, including the move of the pediatric intensive care unit from the second floor.

The extensive work will yield multiple new benefits for patients and families including all private patient rooms; a daytime-staffed information desk; a secured, single entry point to the LCH inpatient floor; and dedicated family resource and conference spaces. Eight relocated ICU rooms now sit adjacent to 12 new and 16 existing inpatient rooms for a total of 36 pediatric beds between these two units. On the same floor, LCH also has The Birthplace and a neonatal intensive care unit.

“This project represents our commitment to the growth of Lutheran Children’s Hospital,” said Brian Bauer, CEO, Lutheran Hospital and Lutheran Health Network. “These colorful yet practical upgrades complement operational improvements that will positively influence the patient and family experience. Having all inpatient beds on the same floor for pediatrics is a huge benefit for us.”

With more pediatric subspecialists than any hospital in the area, new space also allows LCH to expand its unique support services. One example that once relied solely on a volunteer arrangement with IPFW’s music department has now blossomed into a music therapy program headed by a full-time, board-certified music therapist.

Design elements featured during the construction of Lutheran’s pediatric emergency department in 2013 are also prominent on the renovated inpatient floor. Each enhancement is expected to make the areas much more efficient for patients and families, as well as staff.

“The third floor renovation is much more than just a beautiful space – it’s the people within it who make the bigger impression here,” said Krista Peak, executive director, Lutheran Children’s Hospital. “We anticipate the amenities of a family resource center being well-receive based on parent input we sought in the planning process. But beyond the new space, we are also pleased to offer a new music therapy program providing more tools for staff to encourage healing and recovery.

“Adding a dedicated music therapist two years ago has reduced patient anxiety and helped healing through holistic support for patients and families,” Peak added. “It has been so successful that we are now expanding music therapy services to be available throughout the main hospital as well.”

Access to the Lutheran Children’s Hospital inpatient floor now involves using a primary, child-friendly entrance just off the elevators. A single entrance creates greater efficiency for all four LCH inpatient units on the third floor, and a greater sense of safety when coupled with a new infant/child security system that has also been added. 

An additional unit-based playroom has been created to separate patients more susceptible to germs and to better manage infection control.

The dedicated family resource center improves the family support environment. It includes a waiting room, lounge and kitchenette, as well as a resource library with access to computers for personal use and research. Also, a conference center for regional clinical education and unit-based parent education has been added.

Other upgrades include pediatric-friendly monitors, new equipment, nurse stations, furniture, flooring, lighting and wall design. The new beds lengthen and shorten to accommodate the size of the child, making it cozier for patients, in addition to having more kid-friendly features.

Even before LCH opened in 1999, Lutheran was already building a strong reputation regionwide for providing families easy access to specialized pediatric care that had historically only been available in larger metropolitan areas. Today, LCH teams with 68 pediatricians from across the region and state who practice in 20 areas of pediatric specialty. This “hospital within a hospital” includes the region’s only completely separate pediatric emergency department and offers an environment filled with imagination and color throughout. The design of the tree house elevator, specially decorated rooms, hallways and waiting areas invite children and their families to focus on something other than the often unpleasant purpose of their visit. Lutheran Children’s Hospital believes children are special people, not just small adults.

The architecture and design services for the project were managed by MKM architecture + design, and Weigand Construction was the general contractor.


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