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New Children’s Hospital to open doors in December

More+than+doubling+its+size%2C+the+expanded+pediatric+and+obstetric+hospital+embraces+nature%27s+healing+powers+as+one+of+the+nation%27s+most+technologically+advanced%2C+environmentally+sustainable%2C+and+family-friendly+hospital.
More than doubling its size, the expanded pediatric and obstetric hospital embraces nature's healing powers as one of the nation's most technologically advanced, environmentally sustainable, and family-friendly hospital.

More than doubling its size, the expanded pediatric and obstetric hospital embraces nature's healing powers as one of the nation's most technologically advanced, environmentally sustainable, and family-friendly hospital.

Kim Mitchell

Kim Mitchell

More than doubling its size, the expanded pediatric and obstetric hospital embraces nature's healing powers as one of the nation's most technologically advanced, environmentally sustainable, and family-friendly hospital.

Kim Mitchell, Staff Writer

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In just one month, the new Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford will officially open, offering state-of-the-art medical facilities and energy efficient technology, while immersing patients in nature.

The extension more than doubles the size of the hospital with the addition of a 521,000 square foot building and 3.5 acres of healing gardens. As one of America’s most technologically advanced and environmentally sustainable pediatric hospital, its design embraces the healing power of nature.

“The healing gardens embody our belief that Lucile Packard is a place for healing and provide families a place to meditate, pray, and have some quiet time,” said Chief Government and Community Relations Officer Sherri R. Sager. “The Sanctuary is open to all families regardless of where they come from or their faith.”

Families can walk through winding pathways while listening to the sound of hummingbirds fly through fields of flowers, explore interactive habitats, and visit the Sanctuary, a spiritual space to find solace and support through private prayer and quiet reflection. The new hospital features several gardens and outdoor patios at each level to provide fresh air and relaxation through the beauty of the outdoors as research suggests that a connection to nature can help support one’s healing process.

The grey wolf rock art formation in the Dunlevie Garden, created by Michael Green, is best seen through the windows of patient rooms.

Despite the beauty of its gardens, the hospital continues to focus on medical and technological innovation through the pursuit of the goals of its founders, David and Lucile Packard: to nurture the body and soul of every child while treating them like kids, not just patients, and involving the whole family in the patient’s treatment.

“I’m proud that we have carried [Lucile Packard’s] vision forward, with world-class sustainability and holistic elements throughout the new hospital,” said Susan Packard Orr, the daughter of Lucile Packard, in a video on the hospital’s expansion. “Everything we do at this hospital will have an eye to ensuring that generations to come will be healthier.”

Lucile Packard’s hospitals have helped thousands of Bay Area families throughout the years and as a non-profit corporation, the $1.1 million extension was largely built from the support of local philanthropists and corporate partners. Families took a sneak peek during its open house through tours around the new facilities as children trick or treated along the way.

Many of the visitors who came to the hospital’s open house were families who had children receive care at Lucile Packard. Kathe Gibboney is one of the many mothers on the tour who values the work pediatric hospitals do.

“Our daughter, Kyla, was 3 years old when she had her heart transplant,” said Gibboney. “At the time, she was one of the youngest people to receive a heart transplant.”

Despite her young age, her daughter survived and after spending her high school years playing sports at Menlo Atherton High School, she urged her mother to visit the hospital. 

Lucile Packard’s expansion will allow the hospital to treat even more children, saving families just like the Gibboneys, with the addition of 149 patient beds — almost all of them located in private rooms. 

New surgical units include a hybrid operating room equipped with imaging technology that increases the precision of procedures while reducing surgery time and reducing radiation exposure for patients. To ensure the patient’s experience is smooth and stress-free, many children will experience mock simulations and learn about their procedures beforehand.

Michelle Compton, a volunteer at the open house, informed visitors about how the hospital prefers not to sedate children and will instead use technology like virtual reality, iPads, and music to distract children during some procedures. 

“The difference between a children’s hospital and one for adults is that a pediatric hospital runs largely through philanthropy,” said Compton. “Lucile Packard’s expansion was a community effort and volunteering here is a labor of love.”

The “Breaking New Ground” campaign, which raised $262 million dollars, and the support of local communities in the Bay Area both played a key role in making the expansion plan created in 2007 possible. After five years of construction, the new facility will open its doors in just one month.

Not only will the expansion set new standards for technological innovation and sustainability in hospital design, but it will also lead the way in children’s health, nurturing Bay Area families through the power of nature and personalized care.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
New Children’s Hospital to open doors in December