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Construction Underway on New Pediatric Surgical Suite

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong is in the midst of construction on the new pediatric surgical suite, and the $2.2 million project is expected to be completed in June. The William and Mildred Levine Pediatric Surgical Suite will be a dramatic enhancement of the hospital’s pre- and post-surgery services for children and their families and is a vital component of the hospital’s five-year strategic plan.

As with virtually all projects at Golisano Children’s Hospital, the lion’s share of the funding has come from the community. Along with institutional contributions, grassroots donations and major gifts from families such as the Levines, Bill Toomey and Nick Juskiw and from companies such as B&L Wholesale Supply, Inc., have brought the funding level for the project to about 85 percent.

More than 6,600 children undergo surgery each year at Golisano Children’s Hospital. Although the care they receive is top-notch, the hospital is constantly striving to improve care. Currently, children check in at the same reception desk as adults undergoing surgery, stay in the same waiting areas and share the same pre-operative and post-operative recovery rooms. The needs of children are very different from those of adults, especially when it comes to being able to have their families at their bedside right up until surgery and as soon afterward as possible.

“Instead of having the kids fit into an adult area, we’re fitting this suite to the kids,” said Walter Pegoli Jr., M.D., chief of pediatric surgery at Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong.

The new suite will also offer more streamlined care from the hospital’s highly skilled and specialized pediatric team. With the exception of cardiac surgery, all surgeries and procedures requiring anesthesia will take place in the new suite with a dedicated team of health care professionals specially trained to care for infants, children and teenagers. They understand the complex emotional and physical nature of performing surgery on a child, and how the experience might affect his or her family.

The suite will include its own waiting room, designed exclusively for the use of children and their families. The plan also includes a child- and family-friendly pre-operative area where parents will be able to be with their child until just a few minutes before surgery begins.

Dedicated operating rooms for pediatric patients will enable surgeons to operate in a space that is specially designed to meet their needs, and where they will have access to equipment that is tailored specifically for use on children. Some of the most dramatic improvements offered by the new Pediatric Surgical Suite will be experienced after the child’s surgery. Currently, children undergoing surgery share a recovery area with adults, and it doesn’t allow his or her parents to visit immediately after surgery. In the new suite, after they have been able to speak with the surgeon, parents will then be invited to the Post Anesthesia Recovery Unit (PACU) where their child is being monitored for between 30 minutes to several hours.

As the only hospital in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region devoted solely to the care of children, Golisano Children’s Hospital has a unique responsibility to provide the highest quality of care. “We strive each day to be a better children’s hospital,” said Elizabeth McAnarney, M.D., pediatrician-in-chief. “As part of that effort, we must provide our pediatric specialists – many of whom are at the top of their field – with the best facilities in which to practice medicine and surgery.”

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