UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital unveiled two new floors to the community on Wednesday and celebrated the completion of Phase II construction on the new hospital building. The $45 million endeavor propels the hospital to the forefront of surgical and complex care nationally, bringing several significant advancements to the facility.
The project began shortly after the building’s dedication in 2015 and has been made possible with the support of thousands of donations. The new areas on the fourth and sixth floors of the hospital will open to patients over the course of the next month, and will include:
- Six new pediatric operating rooms in the William and Mildred Levine Pediatric Surgical Suite.
- The Clay E. and Rita M. Buzzard Pediatric Cardiac Cath Lab Suite.
- A gastroenterology surgical procedure suite.
- 23 new private pre-op and post-op recovery rooms.
- Relocation of the current 12 ICU and 10 general care pediatric beds to the new tower, and an addition of six new pediatric ICU beds to accommodate rising demand.
With the addition of six state-of-the-art operating rooms, Golisano Children’s Hospital’s pediatric operating capabilities will far surpass other facilities in the region and will be on par with children’s hospitals in many of the country’s largest cities. Hospital surgeons currently perform more than 20,000 surgeries per year.
“For the first time, we will have operating rooms that are designed specifically for the complex needs of children. The larger, modern facilities will give us the space and resources we need to provide patients with the most advanced surgical care,” said Walter Pegoli, M.D., chief of Pediatric Surgery. “New technology, including monitors that will stream videos of the operations around the rooms, will also greatly enhance the education we provide to students and physicians-in-training, allowing us to attract the best and the brightest to our institution.”
In addition to the operating rooms, the fourth floor also features the Clay E. and Rita M. Buzzard Pediatric Cardiac Cath Lab Suite, the gastroenterology procedure suite, and 23 private pre-operative and post-operative rooms — an improvement from the open bay area where patients currently recover from surgery.
Two floors up, patients with serious illnesses and injuries will receive care in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and pediatric cardiac intensive care unit (PCICU), which are being relocated from Strong Memorial Hospital.
“The new PICU offers an improved environment and an added level of convenience for our patients, families, and staff,” said Jeffrey Rubenstein, M.D., chief of the PICU. “Its location between the inpatient floors and operating rooms will shorten transport times, which reduces the risk to our patients. Now, children who require care after surgeries — or who are able to move to another floor from our unit — will only have to take a short elevator ride.”
The two intensive care units share an off-stage area for staff who do not currently have a designated workspace, as well as a waiting area for families and a play room. Separation of the two intensive care units — one general unit and one specifically for patients with heart issues — will allow providers and staff to concentrate their expertise in one area and provide specialized care to patients.
The PCICU is also receiving a much-needed expansion with the addition of six more patient beds.
“Our unit is the only one of its kind in the region, and is almost always nearing capacity,” said Jill Cholette, M.D., chief of the PCICU. “With more beds, we will be able to meet the rising demand for our services and reduce the likelihood that critically ill patients will need to be transported long distances to other centers.”
Fundraising for Phase II construction is ongoing and has been supported by numerous gifts, including a $2 million donation from Rita Buzzard in honor of her late husband, Clay, and a $750,000 pledge from Andy McDermott and Rob Burch, creators of the Fairport Music Festival.