Renovations continue at Shands

Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 2:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 2:20 p.m.

UF Health Shands Hospital is continuing to revamp its pediatrics department, as part of its efforts to consolidate its Children’s Hospital.

They are in the process of renovating part of the 10th floor for pediatric intensive care, most of which will be used for pediatric congential heart disease patients, said Brad Pollitt, vice president of facilities development at UF Health Shands Hospital.

“It’s pretty fascinating to be involved in a project that helps kids with these kinds of conditions,” Pollitt said of the $27 million project.

He added that he anticipates the new department to open in January of next year.

In addition, the entry to the children’s hospital — on the east side of the main hospital, behind the pediatric emergency department — is being revamped. The $11 million renovation includes a multi-story glass pavilion, its own lobby space and reception desk, and child-themed art and video walls, Pollitt continued.

These changes are designed to “expand the footprint of the children’s hospital” and also eliminate the need to walk through adult services to get to children’s departments, Pollitt said.

Nature themes dominate the artwork, which show beaches and wetlands on the first-floor emergency department; oceans, fish and sea mammals on the third floor; forests and prairies on the fourth floor; and sky, clouds, butterflies and treetops in pediatrics intensive care on the tenth.

Pollitt explained that Shands chose nature themes as “part of the healing environment.”

He added that the consolidation of the children’s hospital began four years ago, with inpatient and outpatient pediatric oncology; the addition of a pediatric ER then followed.

The UF Springhill Health Center also will open a free-standing emergency department in August for patients in the northwest part of town, Pollitt said, adding that the addition will cost $10 million.

Kristine Crane is a Gainesville Sun staff writer.

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