Patients and visitors heading into the Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital
on Rogers Avenue in North Baltimore now no longer face an outdated and nondescript main entrance.
A bright, renovated space now welcomes the nearly 6,500 patients, plus families, and caregivers who pass through the lobby each year.
“It’s bright. It’s colorful. You definitely know you’re in a place for children,” says Sheldon Stein, CEO of Mt. Washington.
The renovated lobby is one of three major upgrades completed Nov. 1. The $9 million renovation started two years ago.
The second update is a new canopy for ambulances, so premature babies being transported from local hospitals aren’t exposed to the hot sun or cold rain.
The third upgrade is a complete redesign and expansion of the hospital’s neonatal care unit, which added 10 more beds and allows it to take 100 to 150 more patient admissions each year.
The design features a lot of high-tech touches: “Each bed has its own personal computer to document everything electronically,” says Stein. But there are also those tried and true low-tech features to help prevent germs. “You can’t go eight feet without walking into a sink to wash your hands,” Stein adds.
The renovations were part of a capital campaign that had its roots back in 2007, when Mt. Washington was jointly acquired by the University of Maryland Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Medicine. The board and leadership studied trends and realized there would be a growing need for babies who were ready to leave the pediatric ICU’s at local hospitals, but weren’t ready to go home. Before construction began, staff and families were surveyed to see what they liked about the existing neonatal unit and what they wanted in the future.
The fundraising was financed through grants, corporate donations, and individual contributions. About $7 million paid for the capital improvements. The remaining $2 million is designated for the Mt. Washington Foundation, for programs and services.
The hospital has been adding nurses, social workers, case managers and physicians, and plans to continue hiring. The hospital has hired 20 additional clinical staff to accommodate the expansion. It employs 600 total.
“We have babies who are very tiny. They’re small but they come with a lot of technology. They have breathing apparatus, all sorts of pumps and IV’s,” says Stein. “We were very innovative in how we laid out this design that satisfied the families’ need to see a nurse close by, and the nurses’ needs to see another nurse.”
Writer: Amy Landsman
Source: Shelter Stein, CEO, Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital