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December 20, 2017

Via Christi Emergency Departments Get Kid-Friendly Remodels

On December 5th, St. Francis hospital hosted a blessing ceremony for the new Pediatric Emergency Department Area. The new area serves as much more than a “toy corner” for visiting children, its part of a larger mission to improve children’s hospitals across the United States.

The completion of this Pediatric corner was the third that Eby has completed in 2017 after Via Christi won a contest sponsored by Dairy Queen. Yes, that Dairy Queen! DQ is a Corporate Partner for Children’s Miracle Network and is part of their “Miracle Million” club.

Children’s Miracle Network works to build awareness and fix funding gaps at Pediatric Hospitals around the United States. In 2016, Via Christi Wichita submitted their name to DQ to receive grant funding to help improve the experience of their youngest patients.

Once Via Christi Wichita was awarded the grant money they set out to build Pediatric Emergency Department corners at 3 local hospitals under their management. St.Teresa, St.Joe, and St.Francis were all selected to receive installations using the awarded grant money.

The areas are part of an initiative to improve the experience and reduce the trauma that kids’ have while in the hospital. At the blessing Dr. James Vayda spoke about the effect that traumatic experiences in hospitals can have on one’s life. Studies have shown that people who experience trauma during childhood are more likely to become adults with fears of hospitals and doctors, which can create issues when health problems arise later in life.

The Pediatric corners were designed uniquely to optimize both the space available and the experience of the patients. Partial (4’) walls were built to corner off the area, and plexiglass was installed to add additional height but provide transparency. Eby cut the custom plexiglass and installed it on top of the wall. The partial wall is tall enough that kids cannot see over it but low enough that it allows adults on the outside to supervise. The design of the wall adds aesthetic appeal and maintains the openness of the area.

New bright-colored flooring was installed after removing the existing vinyl. Eby wrapped up their part of the project by installing two gaming monitors into the wall of the Pediatric ED corner. To improve the experience in exam rooms, each of three Via Christi facilities received 3-4 iPads on mobile carts. These help occupy kids during exams/procedures; distraction reduces their fear and enables the doctors to provide a better examination.

Custom murals were installed in the Pediatric ED corners and in some of the Pediatric Exam Rooms at each facility. The murals highlight Wichita’s “Air Capital” reputation by featuring cartoon airplanes and balloons in the art.

Learn more at https://childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org/about-us/

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