Launch of the New Dayton Children’s Hospital Patient Tower
I was almost holding my breath, in anticipation, as I approached the main entrance of Dayton Children’s hospital on June 5, 2017. The hospital was hosting a special open house for the media and VIPs to preview the new patient tower. The branding, which we developed last year, has been brought to life in a spectacular way, in the form of an 8-story, 260,000-square-foot patient tower. It is the focal point of the hospital’s Valley Street main campus.
The event was kicked off by Deborah Feldman, president and CEO of Dayton Children’s, who welcomed the audience of local news reporters, ambassador families, staff, vendors and supporters. Her remarks quickly led to the unveiling of an interactive sculpture called the “Dragonflyer.” It is situated on the north end of the large atrium and anchors the building’s design theme, “things that fly.” The Dragonflyer has something to delight both kids and their parents. The materials, structure, lighting and sheer size will amaze most adults. The pure whimsy of a mechanical flying insect, that you can climb in and operate, complete with sound effects, is a child’s fantasy brought to life.
After the reception in the atrium, it was a quick elevator ride up to tour the new floors and building features. First on the list was an introduction to one of the advanced ultra violet light equipped robots, whose duty will be to do a periodic and thorough (and I mean thorough) cleaning of the patient rooms. The one shown was named “Gerard” and each floor will eventually have two of these deep cleaning robots which will be named by Dayton Children’s patients.
These robots are just a small part of the thoughtful technology that has been built into the entire facility. From touch pads, that are positioned outside of every patient room to enable better tracking and communication; to large format monitors that serve as food menus and offer television, movies and games for those long stays; to state of the art video conferencing for specialists to consult with their patients remotely; to comfortable amenities for visiting families and friends. The net result is an uncluttered environment, with spacious areas that allow doctors and nurses to have the tools they need to provide the best care possible.
The last stop on our tour was something pretty extraordinary and put a solid stamp on what I have termed their “thoughtful” approach to the design of this building. On the fourth floor, which is dedicated to the pediatric oncology department, is an area called the “Sky Deck.” The team at Dayton Children’s has used, to great benefit, the roof of the atrium to provide a fun and relaxing retreat for patients, their families and visitors. A comfortable rubberized floor is a safe place to play and there are tables and chairs to relax outdoors. What really stood out to me in this area are the xylophone sculptures that are made up of colorfully painted tubing that can be played with rubber mallets. You simply can’t resist trying your hand at “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
Coming away from the tour and thinking back on it now, I realize how lucky we are to have a place like Dayton Children’s in our city and how proud we are at Graphica to be a part of this major milestone. Their team’s dedication and commitment is evident by the attention to detail in the new patient tower. And I could see it in the faces of the staff I met that day, that they will go above and beyond for our kids.