Nearly 450 community members joined Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center to celebrate the opening of a new unit to care for pediatric patients.
Located on the hospital's fourth floor, the Center for Women and Children is a $10 million, 34-bed expansion that increases the number of beds at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center from 293 to 327.
"This new unit allows us to care for kids in a way we couldn't do before. Now we can provide the whole gamut of pediatric care and treat a wider variety of conditions in children – whether it be for respiratory issues such as asthma, or orthopedic issues like broken bones, or even ear, nose, and throat issues," said Becky Vernon, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center director of women and children's services.
The 10-bed inpatient pediatric unit is brightly colored and inspired by the spirit of Daytona Beach, featuring designs of ocean waves, palm trees, and dolphins, as well as cars racing on a track, chairs in the shape of tires and tool chests, and blimps.
"When planning and designing this new unit, we wanted to create a fun and vibrant healing environment that would help put children at ease when receiving medical care," said Darlinda Copeland, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center chief operating officer. "This new unit perfectly reflects our community, incorporating the beach Volusia County is famous for, as well as our rich history of racing. Florida Hospital is the official health care partner of Daytona International Speedway, and this theme of racing plays out throughout our new unit and into the playroom, which is essential to kids' healing."
The new unit also offers 24-inpatient beds for women who are either recovering from surgery or giving birth. Located adjacent to the pediatric unit, the design of these rooms is more tranquil than the pediatric unit, with spacious private rooms, soothing green colors, and warm wood accents.
All 34 rooms in the Center for Women and Children are private and created with families in mind. In the pediatric unit, parents can comfortably stay overnight with their child.
"This was a natural progression in expanding our continuum of care," said Vernon. "Our entire fourth floor is already centered completely on women and children. With this new addition, women and children can receive all of their care on one floor – whether you are preparing to expand your family, having a baby, or have a sick child."
The fourth floor is home to Women's Care for pregnant mothers to receive prenatal care, the BirthCare Center to deliver babies, and a 16-bed Level II neonatal intensive care unit for sick and premature babies.
In addition, pediatricians Dr. Shilpa Sulochana and Dr. Mihir Tolat are located on the fourth floor, providing on-going pediatric care.
For children who need specialized care, the fourth floor is also home to Florida Hospital for Children's team of specialized neonatologists and pediatric specialists, available to provide a wide variety of care for kids, including cardiology, gastroenterology, orthopedics, pulmonology, and more.
In addition to the pediatric inpatient unit, the Daytona Beach hospital also unveiled an eight-bed pediatric ER to the community, which further reflects the racing theme.
"It is so exciting to see this project completed," Copeland said. "You certainly don't want to see a child in the hospital, but as a parent, if your child needs health care, you want them to stay close to home and receive the very best care in an environment that is comforting to both you and your child. When I think of all the families this will help in our community, it is a true blessing to open this new unit."