Adrenaline was pumping and emotions were mixed as close to 40 inpatients were transported from UR Medicine’s old Golisano Children’s Hospital to the new eight-story, 245,000 square foot building Tuesday, July 21, an historic and momentous day years in the making.
Nurses, doctors, and children’s hospital staff gathered on the old children’s hospital’s fourth floor units to send off patients and their families to their new private rooms in the beautiful new tower. Dressed in red Sandy Strong shirts, nurses pushed their patients in hospital beds and cribs, making their way to the bridge connecting to the new Golisano Children’s Hospital. Safety was the first priority with staff keeping close watch on vitals and ensuring patients were transported efficiently. Parents accompanied their children and hospital staff as they made their way to the seventh and eighth floor general care rooms of the new building. Patients on unit 4.1600 were moved first, followed by 4.3600 and then 4.1400.
“We prepared for any medical emergencies along the route and made sure that necessary equipment and monitoring were in place,” said Denise Clough, pediatric nurse manager. “We had a strict schedule to keep and needed to ensure a steady pace during the move process. The logistics and responsibility of transferring our patients was pretty intense, but we knew it was also important to have some fun along the way. After all, this is a pediatric hospital and we are all about the kids.”
Backpacks decorated with Sandy Strong, the hospital’s champion for children, were used to help patients pack and transport their personal belongings for the move. Patients also received ‘on the go’ breakfast boxes for easy consumption and transportation. As patients moved along the connective bridge to the new building they took part in a scavenger hunt to find their new rooms. Wegmans Child Life Program staff created different engaging stations with clues for the kids to determine if their room was on the Park- (seventh) or City-themed (eighth) floor of the new building. Each patient received four clues that eventually spelled out his or her destination. Items included leaves, butterfly pinwheels, matchbox cars, personalized street signs, and more.
The entrances of each of the seventh and eighth floor patient rooms of the new Golisano Children’s Hospital tower were adorned with colorful ribbons, welcoming patients and families as they arrived. Upon entering, patients cut the ribbon to their private room, signifying the bittersweet occasion of being its very first occupant.
“No one ever hopes to have to stay at a hospital, so we wanted to be sure to make the moment of moving to a new room in a brand new building as celebratory as we could for the patients and their families,” said Clough.
“The nurses and the transport team did a great job making the transition a lot of fun,” said Kerri Noyes, mother of Jacob, a frequent patient at the children’s hospital. “Jacob was nervous to move, but having the scavenger hunt and people cheering him on along the way helped ease his initial anxiety. I was truly floored by how coordinated and smooth everything went.”