February 26, 2010

Children’s Hospital to debut NICU ‘Treehouse’ at VUH

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The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit’s new space on the seventh floor of Vanderbilt University Hospital will carry a treehouse theme. (photo by Joe Howell)

Children’s Hospital to debut NICU ‘Treehouse’ at VUH

In an effort to alleviate increased patient volumes at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt 16 beds are being borrowed from Vanderbilt University Hospital.

The beds will be located on 7 South of Vanderbilt University Hospital and will be used to care for the patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit who are beginning their transition to discharge.

Patients who are currently being treated on Pod A on the fourth floor of Children’s Hospital will be moving to 7 South on March 1. On March 8, Children’s Hospital will begin using the 16 vacated beds as acute care beds for infants and toddlers.

The relocation is temporary, and the new unit will be used until more beds can be built at Children’s Hospital.

“The adult hospital has been fantastic in supporting a temporary move to help Children’s Hospital continue to meet the needs of all the children we serve,” said Paul Hain, M.D., associate chief of staff at Children’s Hospital. “This is a way for us to continue to serve the community and allow all of our patients to get the care they need in a timely manner.”

Larry Goldberg, chief executive officer of VUH, agreed.

“It is important that we do what is best for all the patients we serve in our community.

Children’s Hospital provides several unique and specialized services that are needed in our community. Although we could certainly utilize 7 South for adult inpatient services, currently we need to be sure that we can increase the capacity of Pediatrics until the Children’s Hospital expansion project can be completed.”

The unit will be called “The Treehouse.” The space includes a large family area and a teaching room. To carry out the tree house theme, each room has a tree mural, flooring is inlaid with leaves and the hallway has a tree sculpture.

“The leadership of Kevin Churchwell, M.D., Jonathan Gitlin, M.D., and Judy Aschner, M.D., made it possible to put together such an inventive strategy to help with our increasing volumes at Children’s Hospital,” Hain said.

Hain said Pod A is the most self-contained operation at Children’s Hospital, and it can be moved with the least amount of disruptions as possible.

“Bill Walsh, M.D., and Marlee Crankshaw, R.N., are the best physician/nurse team that I have ever seen,” Hain said. “There is no problem too difficult for those two to solve. With their operational leadership, the transition has been seamless.”