USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital

September 17, 2013

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To the left is the new four story “Lighthouse” addition.
“A beacon of hope and healing for patients and the Gulf Coast Community.”

The University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital showcased their newest addition this past weekend in Mobile Alabama. I felt so happy to see the stunningly beautiful and technologically advanced building, but also got a lump in my throat when I saw tiny beds awaiting the sickest of children.

The new facility was opened for a preview to the community and hundreds of Gulf Coast residents showed up for tours. Many of those touring the facility were former patients at the hospital, all sharing their stories of a caring and dedicated staff.

Pretty Phi Mu’s from Springhill College were wonderful ambassadors for their philanthropy, Children’s Miracle Network. Nationwide, Phi Mu has raised over eight million dollars for hospitals just like USA Children’s and Women’s.

This innovative medical center is an expansion of the existing hospital, dedicated specifically to caring for children and women, and offering Mobile’s only neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, pediatric oncology and sickle cell outpatient center. It also has facilities for working with high –risk obstetrical care.

Sadie the Therapy Dog greeted visitors. When the hospital begins to admit children, dogs like Sadie will have their own room for play time with patients.

I’ve watched helplessly as friends endure long, brave battles with their very sick children. It was a trying and painful experience that no one wants to endure. Even those who made a miraculous recovery weren’t spared from the long weeks, and even months away from home and other family members.

“The Tree House” provides an activity area for children with art, toys and a giant Wii dance center.

A top rate facility like this steps in during those stressful times in a family’s life and makes everything  better. Not only is the patient receiving state of the art treatments, but the family’s needs are also being met every step of the way – in a comforting and caring environment.

Designed around a fun lighthouse and sea life theme, each and every last room was created to mesmerize and distract a sick or hurt child. Even the floors give the illusion of water, sand and bubbles.

Anyone who has ever spent time in a waiting room will appreciate these comfortable chairs that fold out to beds. Local artwork gives a personal touch to every space.

The elevators give the illusion of rising up from the bottom of a bubbly ocean. Each floor of the four story 195,000 square foot expansion has port holes where you see illuminated sea creatures. The attention to design evokes a warm, inviting and individual feel to each room, public gathering area and corridor. If hospitals were featured on HGTV, this one would be the showcase.

This doesn’t look like any hospital room I’ve ever seen.
It’s more like George Jetson meets Martha Stewart.

The 72 million dollar four story addition not only looks good, but also contains the finest technology available. I ran into a pediatrician friend who explained how the infant beds allow the child to be weighed and x-rayed right in the bed so you never have to lift and move the sick patient. For all the “pretty” things I was seeing, she was seeing top–rate medical equipment.

The Ronald McDonald room provides a quiet place for showers, laundry, and adult relaxing.

Although Mobile has a fabulous Ronald McDonald House for the families of young patients, there are smaller Ronald McDonald family rooms in the actual hospital so the adults can shower or do a load of laundry without ever leaving their child.

Guess who was there to check on his room?

The Children’s and Women’s Hospital treats patients from birth through 19 years old. I have two children in that age range and am relieved and feel blessed to know we have such a high quality facility right here on the Gulf Coast.

The art room brings a bit of normalcy back to a confusing time.

But as wonderful as it is, I pray that I, and others, will never have to use it.

Click here to read more about USA Healthcare System.
Click here to learn more about the Ronald McDonald House in Mobile. 
Click here to read about Phi Mu’s philanthropy, Children’s Miracle Network.


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