After a two-year planning and construction process, the latest edition to Dayton Children’s main campus is complete —a $78 million, five-story specialty care outpatient center that will start seeing patients on March 6.
The 152,000-square-foot building on Dayton Children’s main campus off of Valley Street in Dayton will have four floors of outpatient clinic space and fifth-floor shell space.
Deborah Feldman, president and CEO of Dayton Children’s, said officials have been on a reinvention path for the past decade, with the patient tower as the first major project to reinvigorate the Dayton campus. The eight-story patient tower opened in the center of the main campus in June 2017. The state-of-the-art facility was the largest project in the hospital’s history, with a cost of about $260 million.
“The inpatient tower enabled us to provide an exceptional experience for our families when they needed to be inpatient, but what we know is that more and more health care is moving to the outpatient setting,” Feldman said.
“Fewer and fewer people will be in the hospital. Those that are in the hospital will probably be sicker, and our inpatient tower is really geared around the complexity of care and critical nature of care. But as care moves to the outpatient setting, more of that complex care is also moving, and so we needed to have a space that really met those needs.”
The specialty care center will expand on outpatient and ambulatory services geared toward children’s health. Feldman said they will be moving physicians and staff who are currently in the existing spaces of the hospital into new and improved spaces at the specialty care center. Dayton Children’s will later repurpose the spaces those doctors were previously in for other needs the hospital may have. What those uses will be are still being determined.
“We have lots of supportive needs in the hospital that we can definitely use the space for,” Feldman said.
The specialty care center ties in with Dayton Children’s strategic plan, the theme of which is “reinventing the path to children’s health.”
“The specialty care center is part of that because the first two elements of that plan really focus on ensuring that our families have the very best access to care and that experience they have with us is really exceptional in every moment. Our families deserve that,” Feldman said.
The Dayton Children’s specialty care center will address a wide range of pediatric specialties and subspecialties. The first floor will have services geared toward ophthalmology, adolescent young adult medicine, audiology and more. There will also be an optical shop on the first floor.
“We’ll have the largest selection of glasses for kids in the area,” said Julie Cannon, Dayton Children’s brand engagement manager. “You can come in even if you’re not a patient of ours.”
With this new building comes approximately 200 new parking spots on a surface level lot, which leads to the main lobby area on the second floor of the specialty care center. The first floor of the specialty care center connects to Dayton Children’s parking garage.
“When our families come here, many times parents are taking off work, they have other things to do in their lives, and we want them to be able to have a fast, positive, and comprehensive experience, and that’s what we think the specialty care center can do,” Feldman said.
The second floor, in addition to the main lobby, will house a café, pharmacy, laboratory and imaging services, a surgery clinic, and services geared toward gastroenterology, urology, and more.
The first and second floors will be going live on Monday, with the third and fourth floors moving into those spaces in the middle of March. Orthopedics will move from the main hospital to the specialty care center, where the third floor will hold an orthopedics gym with various equipment, including a new underwater treadmill for aquatic therapy for certain musculoskeletal injuries or ailments.
The fourth floor will be geared toward allergies and immunology, along with endocrinology, diabetes, infectious diseases, neurology, pulmonary, and more.
Throughout the new facility was new, colorful artwork centered around the theme of flight, including a mosaic stretching across multiple floors. There are also some interactive installations, including a new sculpture outside the building, along with small installations and sensory distractions children can interact with in some of the lobbies and exam rooms.
“When they see space that really speaks to them and it shows this place is all about them and their children, it does relax them and it does make them feel that they’re a place with people that really are focused on children and families,” Feldman said. Family input was also taken into consideration for additional aspects of the building, including doorways being able to fit wheelchairs through them and changing tables in both the men’s and women’s restrooms.
Work on Dayton Children’s main campus is not finished as a $100 million behavioral health building is in the planning stages. The hospital’s new $100 million behavioral health building was announced in May and will double the available space for behavioral health patients by 2025. The building is receiving a $25 million allocation from the American Rescue Plan.
The hospital hopes to break ground on the facility in early 2023 and open it to patients in the first quarter of 2025.
Staff Writer Cornelius Frolik contributed to this story.
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