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Health and Medicine

Akron Children's Hospital begins work on a new ER and neonatal ICU
Community input provided ideas for themes, from treehouses to sandboxes

Mark Urycki
The interior layout of the 7 story Critical Care Center was designed with help of staff and patient families.
Courtesy of Akron Children's Hospital
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In The Region:

Officials at Akron Children’s Hospital held a ceremonial groundbreaking today on a new seven-story building called the Critical Care Tower. The $200 million project includes both a new emergency room and a neonatal intensive care unit.

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It’s a stretch to call it a groundbreaking when right behind the guys in suits with shovels is a very large hole with earth-movers and backhoes already operating. Hospital CEO Bill Considine said the hospital  had to expand because patient volume is up and Akron Children’s staff is performing pediatric care for other medical centers in Northeast Ohio. 

“Our footprint has grown. Because of all the pressures on healthcare providers, more of them are looking to us because we have the expertise in pediatrics.”

The hospital built cardboard mock-ups of various departments in a warehouse and then asked staff and families to offer suggestions on the new unit’s interior design.  

 “The lobby is going to have a backyard flavor to it; the neonatal unit is going to have a tree house flavor to it; the ambulatory surgery is going to have a sandbox playground attitude to it”

A new parking deck that connects right to the outpatient surgery unit is almost finished. The tower is scheduled to open in the middle of 2015.

(Click image for larger view.)

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