A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Children’s Hospital unveils Welcome Center, neonatal unit at Chandler Hospital

After years of careful planning, Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH)
unveiled the new Makenna Foundation Welcome Center and Betti Ruth
Robinson Taylor Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in UK HealthCare’s Chandler Hospital.

Designated in 1988, KCH lacked a central lobby and registration space, and was only accessible via a single visitor elevator. This spacious center includes patient and visitor registration, a gift shop, a digital interactive wall, and a large-scale art installation called “Exuberance,” which is comprised of marble-filled kites suspended from the ceiling.

The welcome center includes the Simpson Family Theater which will host events and programs coordinated by KCH’s Child Life Department, and a gift shop stocked with child and family focused items.

The Pediatric Health Education Center, located in the welcome center, is a resource for both parents and children that offers child-centric health information education. It will also serve as a business center for parents and families.

Beyond the welcome center is the new Betti Ruth Robinson Taylor Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This 36,000 square foot facility replaces the current NICU on the KCH’s fourth floor. The new facility will allow the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to
expand into the newly vacated space.

“This new facility is a dream come true for our team,” said Dr. Scottie B. Day, physician in chief of Kentucky Children’s Hospital. “We partnered with doctors, nurses and staff, as well as our patient-parent advisory group to create a space where we can deliver advanced care to our most vulnerable patients.”

The NICU has 68 patient rooms including two twin rooms for a total of 70 beds. Each room has a daybed so parents can stay with their babies as much as possible. Other amenities include:

 Nature-themed corridors, called neighborhoods, that feature colorful mosaics inspired by Kentucky wildlife that assist in wayfinding and establishing a sense of community

 A kangaroo chair, breast pump, and Penguin milk cooler in each room

The lobby

 Circadian rhythm lighting that mimics natural light cycles, benefitting babies in their development, weight gain, growth while reduces crying and fussiness

 Infant Nutrition Room with inventory software for the storage and tracking of milk and formula

 Homelike amenities including a lounge, kitchen, laundry, and s
hower facilities for parents of long-term patients

 Two care-by-parent rooms
to help parents transition into caring for their child on their own before discharge

 Staff spaces that include a workroom, lounge area, quiet room and terrace, allowing staff to work and rest while staying close to patients.

“This NICU is the result of the careful collaboration for which UK HealthCare is known,” said Gwen Moreland, Assistant Chief Nurse Executive of Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

About 40 percent of birthing mothers at UK HealthCare are considered high risk; 20 percent of their infants are low birth weight and are admitted to the NICU. About 50 percent of the NICU admissions come from UK’s delivery service. The remainder of the
infants are transported by the nurse clinician on the neonatal transport team.

From the University of Kentucky

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