New Maternity Facility at Texas Children's Hospital Is "Showing!" Sparkling "Tree of Miracles" Raised During Topping Out Ceremony
HOUSTON - (June 3, 2010) - Decorated with sparkling redcrystals and ribbons, a live red oak "Tree of Miracles" was raised 200 feettoday to the top of the newmaternity building at Texas Children's Hospital, currently under constructionin the Texas Medical Center. The ceremony marked an important milestone---thecompletion of the 16-story building's beam structure. When it opens in 2011,the center will usher in a new era for the hospital as it expands intoobstetrical care, establishing one of the nation's premier facilities formaternal and newborn health. Texas Children's will offer the full continuum offamily-centered care, beginning before conception and continuing afterdelivery, with a special focus on high-risk births.
"With this new building, Texas Children's will provide an unprecedented settingfor mothers and babies to receive the best care, provided by many of theworld's leading experts and using the most advanced technologies andtreatments," said Mark A. Wallace, president and CEO of Texas Children'sHospital, addressing the crowd of spectators. "We are standing on the futuresite of miracles."
Echoing that theme, the tree decorations included keepsake crystal pins createdby internationally-known designer Mindy Lam to commemorate the miracles of lifethat will occur during the center's first year. The unique pins feature asingle branch with two delicate red blossoms, symbolizing mother and baby, andeach resembling the Texas Children's Hospital logo.
Wallace pointed out that the imagery of the pin, which represents the closeconnection between mother and child, is a perfect symbol for thefamily-centered care model around which the new facility is designed. "Ourfamily-centered approach focuses on caring for mother and child together, topromote bonding from the very first moments of life," he said.
Noting that the executives overseeing the building's development from vision toreality are all women and mothers, Wallace introduced Laura Bellows, chairmanof the board of W.S. Bellows Construction Corporation; Diane Osan, leadarchitect and senior principal with FKP Architects; Ann Stern, executive vicepresident for Texas Children's Hospital; and Cris Daskevich, senior vice presidentfor Texas Children's Hospital and lead operations executive for the maternityinitiative. Wallace also acknowledged Houston philanthropists Laura and JohnArnold, who donated the leadership gift of $25 million for the new center.
A crowd of about 500 gathered for the ceremony and included hospital donors,board members, physicians, nurses and staff, plus more than 400 constructionworkers and executives from Bellows Construction.
"We are proud and honored to work with Texas Children's Hospital on thisproject, which will be another site of miracles for this visionaryinstitution," said Laura Bellows. "Miracles such as births that might not havebeen, healing and caring for children before they are born, and breakthroughsin research and care for mothers and newborns will all take place here."
After a daylong display on the rooftop, the live oak will be donated to Trees for Houston forplanting at a community site.
Located adjacent to the Texas Medical Center at 6651 South Main Street, the$575 million maternitycenter will include the advanced care of Level II and Level IIINeonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) with private rooms, Texas Children's FetalCenter, OB/GYN physician practices, state-of-the-art assisted reproductive andfertility services, and connection via a sweeping circular sky bridge to thehospital's current pediatric care facilities, West Tower and Clinical CareCenter. The building itself is based on the latest concepts of evidence-baseddesign, which recognizes the environment as a vital part of therapeutictreatment, helping to promote overall health and well being. Within abeautiful, soothing setting, the facility will have a 90-bed capacity and beable to accommodate more than 5,000 births per year. Interior design for thestate-of-the-art facility, including patient rooms and family areas, wascreated with input from expecting and recent new mothers. The 790,000square-foot facility will also feature a four-level underground parking garagethat can accommodate up to 1,000 cars.
About Texas Children’s Hospital
Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.