In July 2021, Le Bonheur Children’s announced a major expansion, including the addition of four floors and a revamp of the 9th floor to offer more useable space. Despite deadlines, shipment delays and the logistics of construction in a very busy hospital, the team has not lost sight of what’s most important — the kids and families they serve.
“We try to engage our construction team as a part of the Le Bonheur family,” explained Brandon Edgerson, Le Bonheur vice president and COO. “They meet with our team so they’re a part of our culture, and they understand why we do what we do.”
The crews and Le Bonheur teams have worked together seamlessly to choose times of day that will cause the fewest disruptions in active patient care areas; the construction team also attends the hospital’s daily safety meetings. This emphasis on communication keeps everyone on the same page as plans evolve.
This project will expand the hospital’s critical care capacity, most notably for the Cardiovascular and Neonatal Intensive Care Units. It will also create an 11-bed step-down cardiac unit and an MRI-guided catheterization lab. Le Bonheur’s top-tier reputation continues to grow, and making sure the hospital has the space necessary to maintain high-capacity volume while providing high-level care was an immediate need.
“As we looked at our critical care areas, we realized there’s an opportunity to provide those vital units with additional space,” said Edgerson. “Knowing that we’re continually striving to be a premier hospital, we want this space available to families in our region.”
Building in the midst of a global pandemic has slowed down supply chains and shipments for crews all over the world, and Le Bonheur has not been immune to that challenge. But the construction team also has its own unique needs to navigate.
“We’ve set up infection control barriers to isolate the crew from patients,” said Blake Tyler, project manager for Turner Construction Company. “It’s so important to keep immunocompromised kids safe from drywall dust and other debris.”
With the additional floors and units, there will be a major staffing impact. Le Bonheur is actively recruiting to meet these staffing needs, and the job growth expected will be significant. Once complete, this major undertaking will give Le Bonheur the space and resources to care for even more children in the region. On March 24, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held with Le Bonheur staff, patients, families and supporters all coming together to celebrate the newly opened 9th floor space.
As with every project Le Bonheur undertakes, the patients and their families are at the center of each decision — a feeling that also extends to each person involved in the expansion.
As we looked at our critical care areas, we realized there’s an opportunity to provide those vital units with additional space. Knowing that we’re continually striving to be a premier hospital, we want this space available to families in our region.
“On all Le Bonheur projects, my team and I are fortunate to not only do what we love, but also do something with a purpose. I’ve got two children myself, so it’s very near and dear to my heart to help kids in the tri-state area and beyond,” said Tyler. “We’re building something with a higher vision and
a higher purpose, which definitely gives us a vision of a bigger impact.”
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