New Golisano Children's Hospital Dedication Celebrates Kids, Community and Future

May. 27, 2015

Miracle Kids, grateful families, University of Rochester leadership, and significant building donors including hospital namesake B. Thomas Golisano will celebrate the dedication of UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital on May 27. 

The largest capital project in the University’s history, the new eight-story, $145 million hospital is 245,000 square feet. For the first time, the children’s hospital will feature all-private rooms and specialized technology, including the first integrated PET/MRI in a children’s hospital in the nation, dedicated to healing sick and injured children. The new space is set to open in mid-July for the 74,000 children across the Finger Lakes region that come to  Golisano Children’s Hospital for care each year.

The celebration will start at 4 p.m., emceed by 13WHAM anchor and Golisano Children’s Hospital board member Jennifer Johnson. Patients will welcome guests as they arrive. Remarks will be given by University of Rochester President Joel Seligman; University of Rochester Board Chair Ed Hajim; University Board Chair-Elect Danny Wegman; University CEO and School of Medicine and Dentistry Dean Mark Taubman, M.D.; Pediatrician-in-Chief Nina F. Schor, M.D., Ph.D.; grateful parent Kim Winter, and B. Thomas Golisano.


A “Parade of Miracles,” complete with drummers, a color guard, and more than 20 children in our care, will be part of the dedication. In addition to the customary ribbon that will be cut, the ceremony will also include a symbolic “ribbon” made from patients’ and families’ hand-drawn pictures, stickers, and messages of thanks. Faculty and staff of the children’s hospital have fashioned these heartfelt messages into a brightly colored paper ribbon that the parade participants will cut.

A Hospital Built by the Community

Recognized as “the hospital the community built,” the new children’s hospital is a product of years of planning by visionary leaders. Nearly 8,500 individuals and community groups have given more than $53 million in philanthropic gifts to the new hospital to date. Donors have come from 38 states, the District of Columbia, and two of Canada’s Provinces. One-third of donors, many of whom are children, have given $25 or less.


Leading gifts include:

  • A $20 million pledge by Golisano which launched the project’s fundraising campaign
  • A $7 million commitment from the Wegman Family Foundation
  • $5 million from Georgia Gosnell to name the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • $3 million from Rick Aab in honor of the Ganatra family, for which the atrium is named
  • More than 120 spaces in the new hospital are named in honor of commitments by generous donors.

“The new children’s hospital will be a destination of specialized care, made possible by the visions of several innovative minds and the donations of many,” said Mark Taubman, M.D., University of Rochester CEO and School of Medicine and Dentistry dean. “The new building is already having a tremendous positive impact on recruiting physicians. Medical staff will be practicing with the latest technology and research in a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility.”

inside hospital 1

An Environment Designed with Children and Families in Mind

The hospital environment was designed to minimize stress, fear and anxiety for patients and families. The interior of the hospital showcases the many beautiful landscapes of upstate New York, with each floor featuring a different theme, including lakes, meadows, parks, and cities.

The ground floor of the new building will be dedicated to pediatric imaging, with a new PET/MRI suite and family waiting area. Golisano Children’s Hospital is the first hospital in upstate New York and the first children’s hospitals in the nation to have the innovative technology. Combining the two technologies in one device means a child will undergo one imaging procedure instead of two, with less radiation exposure.

inside hospital 2

As guests make their way up the grand staircase through the Ganatra Family Atrium, outfitted with a two-story discovery wall that holds a fish tank under a large colorful mobile, they’ll find the children’s hospital’s information desk. The first floor is also home to the Walmart and Sam’s Club Pediatric Lobby, the Sibling Club House, the Ronald McDonald House Family Room, a family library and resource center, the Mark and Marcia Siewert Pediatric Conference Room, the entrances to Grace’s Garden and Lauren’s Garden, as well as the connecting corridor to Strong Memorial Hospital.    

The new Golisano Children’s Hospital will provide our region’s children and their families with 52 private rooms, each about one-third larger than current rooms. The greatly expanded Gosnell Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) will add 44 new private rooms for our region’s tiniest patients and sickest babies. The Gosnell NICU, located on the new building’s third floor, will provide intensive care in rooms three times that of the current space. Private rooms will not only allow for more space, but also support infection control and enable parents to more actively participate in their child’s care. After renovations, the current NICU will expand in size, housing 24 modernized rooms that will reflect the same accommodations as the new space.

The seventh and eighth floors of the new building are dedicated to medical and surgical care, each with three zones including the caregiver zone, patient zone, and family zone that contain the necessary elements for the designated individuals.

Golisano Children’s Hospital is the leading pediatric hospital in the Finger Lakes region. It offers specialized services including cardiovascular, neonatal care, critical care, hematology, oncology, bone marrow transplant, nephrology, gastrointestinal (GI), renal transplant, urology, surgery, pulmonology, sleep medicine, burn care, trauma, plastic surgery, ear, nose and throat (ENT), adolescent medicine, gynecology (GYN), endocrinology, and orthopaedics, just to name a few.

While the two general care floors focus on patient care, there are also spaces for caregivers and staff. Both floors are equipped with a caregiver respite lounge – meant just for adults – and waiting and reception areas. Staff will also have an “off-stage” area that will help decrease noise, allow for breaks and create opportunities for clinical staff to have care delivery discussions in areas outside of a patient or family space.

The new hospital will fully embrace the need for play and normalcy, with a fun element at every turn – even on the building’s elevators. A toddler playroom and a new two-story Play Deck on the seventh and eighth floors will allow kids to get away from their rooms for activities. The Play Deck offers an expansive view that stretches all the way to the Bristol Hills. Also on the eighth floor will be a School Room and a Teen Lounge that overlook the lower level of the Play Deck.

“The new children’s hospital will allow us to take our goal of patient- and family-centered care to a new level,” said William H. Eilinger Chair of Pediatrics and Pediatrician-in-Chief of Golisano Children’s Hospital Nina Schor, M.D., Ph.D. “Children heal faster and more comfortably when their families are close by and when the family is a part of the care team. Our new building now allows us to better accommodate these needs.”

Phase two of the children’s hospital construction will include putting in an operating suite on the building’s fourth floor and moving the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to the sixth floor. Construction is scheduled to start later this year and be completed in 2017.