On Tuesday, May 22, 2018, our most critically-ill patients were moved from West Tower to floors nine through 12 of the beautiful new Legacy Tower.
At 7 a.m., seven specially-trained clinical teams began safely transporting more than 45 critically-ill patients to their new, spacious, state-of-the-art critical care rooms. The amount of planning and effort behind this monumental move was almost inconceivable. More than 150 staff were involved, and the careful transfer of our patients took more than 7 hours. Once our patients and their families settled into their new spaces, our staff focused on what they do best – providing the highest quality pediatric care to our patients and their families in a new, family-focused environment.
This phase one opening of our 640,000-square-foot, 400-foot-tall Legacy Tower marks a significant milestone in our 64-year history that will help us continue to serve our patients and their families, particularly children who are critically ill and have complex needs. We are opening with six technologically advanced operating rooms – one with intraoperative MRI – and 84 ICU beds, including dedicated surgical, neuro and transitional ICU beds.
In September when phase two of Legacy Tower opens, it will be the new home of Texas Children’s Heart Center® and will include an outpatient clinic, four catheterization labs with one intraprocedural MRI, cardiovascular intensive care unit, four CVORs, and cardiology acute care beds.
While all of these enhanced clinical amenities will better enable us to care for sick children, the truly special thing about Legacy Tower is that it was built for and with the input of our patient families. During the construction process, we listened to the wants and needs of Texas Children’s patients, families and the staff who cares for them, and we implemented many of their suggestions.
We heard parents when they told us they wanted to be able to sleep in a bed next to their child instead of a chair. That they wanted to be able to take a shower without leaving their child’s room. And that they wanted peaceful places to take a break when needed, without having to leave the hospital.
We also have a therapy dog dedicated to Legacy Tower. Bailey, a lively 18-month-old Golden Retriever, will offer comfort and encouragement to our patients. My wife Shannon and I supported the addition of Bailey for the hospital’s Pawsitive Play Program to enhance the emotional well-being of our patients. Bailey will help patients feel less anxious, reduce their perception of pain and fear of the hospital and will really complement our holistic approach to care.
As a whole, we want our patients and their families to be as comfortable as possible while they are here with us, and we want our clinical teams to have the best environments in which to work and the best tools with which to care for our patients. With Legacy Tower, we will achieve all this, better than ever before.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the realization of the opening of Legacy Tower. The leadership, the collaborative teams, the innovation and ideas from knowledgeable front line staff … all of these elements are what got us here. Together, we have taken another step to fulfill the legacy of Texas Children’s, and I walk these halls today – as should you – with immense pride. Today is a new era and a blessing, to us and to all those we will serve for decades to come. Congratulations Texas Children’s.