Two milestones occurred this week: one of my city’s longtime institutions, Dayton Children’s Hospital, held its grand opening of a new, state-of-the-art patient tower; and I was officially called a “mommy blogger.”
I’m thrilled about the former; still processing the latter.
As a supporter of Dayton Children’s from almost the moment I arrived in the Gem City (read our story HERE), when a call went out to help elevate the conversation around their new building, my hashtag-loving heart responded. In the grand opening program, hospital staff said they wanted to create a space worthy of the children of the Dayton region. It shows.
Here are my favorite highlights from Monday’s tours.
Not your mama’s hospital gift shop
I never thought about how much gift shop purchases help fund hospital services, so I love that they’ve emphasized that. Also — this is seriously not yo mama’s hospital gift shop. This can only be described as a whimsical boutique. They have some seriously cute stuff! It’s not just bibs and balloons.
The amount of thought, research, and discussion with staff and patient families that went into this new tower is evident and impressive. Every corner resonates intentionality and a desire to, as they explained in the opening program, always be reaching for the stars for kids close to home:
- Computer keyboards in the patient rooms are — wait for it — dishwasher safe. (I need these in my life)
- There are separate parent/guest TV’s in each room (for everyone who has a limit on how many times they can hear Mickey and crew sing “Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog.” Which is all of us.)
- Dedicated space for both a NICU milk bank and lactation rooms for employees. YES YES and YES. I had an oversupply with my second son and loved the idea of supporting other moms in this way, and for all of us who have pumped in closets/bathrooms/cars/open cubicles — praise hands.
- Disinfecting UV-light robots (umm, what?! I need to know how to install one of these in my house. #boymom)
Innovation top to bottom
I LOVED the soft rooftop play area. Clearly a safe and secure structure, it will give patients, staff, families, and visitors a chance to get a literal breath of fresh air and run out some energy while still remaining close to hospital rooms. And I love the innovative spirit here — most people would have overlooked the potential in this space instead of asking, “What can we do with it?”
Run, jump, play
There are people who appreciate kids; then there are people who understand kids. Dayton Children’s has installed interactive spaces throughout the hospital, acknowledging that kids are always curious, imaginative, and in motion. From the custom-built Windtunnel leading into the gift shop to the accessible hands-on Dragonflyer (you can move the wings and change the colors!), these are the little details that help families focus on individual moments even in the midst of difficulty. You know you have a gem in your backyard when you see a children’s hospital and immediately want to bring your kids in to experience it. (Come on — who wouldn’t want to measure their wingspan?)
Note: This post was written as part of Dayton Children’s new patient tower grand opening, for which participating bloggers received complimentary tours and a few hospital goodies. All thoughts and opinions described here are my own. If you’re in the Miami Valley, check it out for yourself at their Community Open House, June 11, 1-4 p.m.