Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital

Joe domaggio

There were moments of joy, gratitude, anticipation and more than a few tears during the roughly six years I actively worked with the leaders and teams of the Memorial healthcare system to bring the expansion of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital to life. many of us got misty-eyed at the coronation ceremony last year when the final beam was put up; while watching an elevated video showing signage being added to the exterior of the building; and most recently when our clinical team airlifted some of the sickest patients from across the street from Memorial Regional Hospital.

in what is thus far the most impactful project of my career, our teams not only expanded the children’s hospital from four stories to eight, but did so while maintaining the highest standards of quality and patient safety, families and staff. even with construction during the covid-19 pandemic, the $166 million project was completed on time and within budget.

plan for the future

joe dimaggio children’s hospital became a free-standing facility in 2011, but even then it was assumed that it would grow beyond its four floors as demand for specialty pediatric services, surgical capabilities, treatments and programs increased in south america Florida.

within three years, conversation began about a vertical expansion and in 2016 hks architecture firm was contracted, beginning the design and permitting process. robins & morton were hired as general contractors in 2019, with construction beginning in 2020, just before covid shut down the project for three months.

While the pandemic affected everyone in healthcare in immeasurable ways, we were fortunate to be able to continue through the worst of the crisis. After closing early, when we still hadn’t put the proverbial shovel in the ground, advanced planning by our in-house construction services team helped avoid many of the supply chain issues and cost escalations that plagued other construction projects. construction at that time.

While there were ultimately some challenges securing all the equipment and specific items the 400,000-square-foot building required, nothing derailed our long-term timeline.

Despite everything, our goal was to minimize the impact of work on the people inside the facility. that required significant coordination with the contractor and the understanding that some of the noisier aspects of construction could only be done for short periods at certain times. we considered the need for patients to heal and families to rest, accommodated surgical schedules, and accommodated when entrances, elevators, and parking were compromised.

new perspective

Since the new apartments opened last month, I’ve had time to reflect. and while many of my days and nights over the past two and a half years have been filled with thoughts of structural engineering, infrastructure (electricity, sewer, utilities, etc.), and vendor coordination, I am now left with the lasting legacy of what we have created for patients and families:

  • high-tech environments that enhance integration within surgical floors, including an upgraded interventional radiology suite and hybrid cardiac operating rooms that can simultaneously accommodate catheter-based procedures and surgeries traditional.
  • innovative technology that provides real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) during brain surgery.
  • an inpatient rehabilitation gym with an outdoor terrace, several therapy rooms, a sensory room, a virtual reality treadmill and a bioness vector track.
  • a garth brooks teammates kids’ living area for kids, made possible in part by a generous grant from the finker-frenkel family foundation, with a daily itinerary of activities and exhibits for kids of all ages, expressive and therapeutic play areas, production space for “joe d. tv” and open spaces to host yoga, music, art and special events.
  • larger and more efficient space for the pediatric pharmacy.
  • expanded capacities of pediatric ICUs.
  • lessons learned

    A project of this size and scope is only possible with good planning and excellent partners. That includes the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation, whose “Catch Love” capital campaign funded more than a third of the total cost.

    Internal and external organizations that align with your mission and values ​​become critical relationships for success over the course of months and years. these strong partnerships keep work on track, on budget, and enable results far beyond what could have been achieved in individual silos.

    I’m glad that what we’ve done will have a life-changing and life-saving impact. And speaking for all those who feel they’ve left a piece of their heart in that building, that’s all they ever wanted.

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