Wasie NICU Expansion at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Opens

10,000-Square- Foot NICU Expansion Adds 23 Private Rooms

June 16, 2009   |   Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.   |   Projects

Gresham, Smith and Partners, a leading national architecture, engineering, interior design and planning firm, is pleased to announce that the expansion of the Wasie Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital (JDCH), for which the firm provided space planning, architecture and interior design services, is nearing completion. A grand opening celebration for the completion of Phase I was held on May 13, 2009 and the space will be utilized beginning May 26. 

The NICU facility is located on the main campus of Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida and includes an addition of 23 private patient rooms to bring the level III tertiary care NICU to 64 beds total.  In addition to the 10,000-square-foot NICU expansion on the facility's second floor, the project includes 10,000 square-feet of convertible office space on the third floor for 20 additional NICU rooms in the future and 10,000 square-feet of shelled support space on the first floor.

 "We are grateful to have completed Phase I of this expansion project, which provides us with the space necessary to better serve the needs of our community and staff," stated Tamara Bledsoe, Director, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at  Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital. 

The 23 private patient rooms are designed with mirrored headwalls, a mini-nurse station located between each pair of rooms and a main nurse station at each end of the corridor.  An indirect, soft lighting design was used to create a calm and relaxing environment.  Recycled content in the rubber floors and a fully integrated digital communication system were used to quiet the patient environment.  Amenities such as sofa beds and personal storage cabinets are provided in each patient room to allow for family to stay comfortably overnight. A theme of nature is enhanced by the serpentine curve of the corridor and the organic colors and patterns of the butterfly wings used in the flooring and cloud elements in the ornamental ceiling.

"Our team worked with JDCH to develop a design that would support the facility's goal of creating a family-focused program and would meet needs specific to a NICU environment," commented Paul Pannier, RA, LEED AP, project manager at GS&P.  "Through the course of our relationship with Memorial Regional Hospital we have developed a tremendous understanding of their operational and staff needs and look forward to working with them as they continue to update their facilities to provide services which improve the quality of life for people in their community."

In addition to patient rooms, the expansion includes educational rooms, breast pump rooms, family waiting areas as well as sibling waiting areas.  Design considerations were made for the future addition of a two-story bridge and walkway that will connect the main campus to the JDCH campus expansion currently under design.  This connector will serve as a patient transport and enclosed walkway for visitors.

Gresham, Smith and Partners has provided design services to Memorial Regional Hospital for more than 10 years.  In addition to the new Wasie NICU expansion, GS&P has designed a 2,500-square-foot diagnostic heart center for Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.   Other recent projects designed by GS&P at the hospital include a 40,000-square-foot Cardio/Vascular Institute with six new catheterization /interventional labs, a 70,000 SF Surgery Masterplan, interior renovations to public corridors and main lobbies at the hospital and the complete replacement of the 10 Megawatt Central Energy Plant for the one million square-foot hospital campus in the past two years.  

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