The Don and Lori Watts Pediatric Center offers young patients and their families a space designed specifically for their needs. It features "kid-friendly" surroundings and a large number of pediatric patient rooms. This 25,000-square-foot center opened in 2009. When families are here for an extended length of time, we want them to have a private place where they can gather and just be a family.
Construction of the new pediatric center was made possible by a fund-raising effort led by Kadlec Foundation, raising more than $7 million toward the project.
The Don and Lori Watts Pediatric Center is decorated with an "under the sea" theme that is carried out on everything from floors to light fixtures. It features:
- 20 large, private rooms. Each room has its own large bathroom with shower, access to age-appropriate online games and movies as well as sleeping accommodations for parents.
- A family room with a kitchen, a dining area where families can sit around a table to eat a meal together and a washer and dryer.
- A playroom with age-appropriate activities for toddlers through school-age children.
Children hospitalized at Kadlec Regional Medical Center receive around-the-clock care from full-time pediatric specialists. These are specially trained pediatricians who work solely in the hospital and do not have an outside practice. This allows them to focus exclusively on hospitalized children.
From the perspective of a child, a hospital can be a scary place with unfamiliar people, strange equipment, a foreign vocabulary and often the sharp needles that accompany a hospital stay. It's hard for children to understand most – or any – of it.
That's where Kadlec's certified Child Life Specialists – the first in the area – come in. These specialists use toys and other techniques to help a child understand the hospital experience, to use play to help work out fears and to be with a child during procedures.