UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital debuts a colorful new entrance, opens the Sebastian Ferrero Atrium
UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital marked an important milestone today (Sept. 3) with the debut of a colorful new façade, a dedicated entrance and the opening of the Sebastian Ferrero Atrium, part of a series of renovations focused on creating a welcoming setting and augmenting high-quality care for children.
The Sebastian Ferrero Atrium, designed with the youngest patients and their families in mind, features interactive video displays to entertain children and parents, nature-themed art, a reception desk and elevators that travel solely to floors housing pediatric units.
The changes are part of $135 million in improvements that grew out of UF Health’s strategic plan, “Forward Together.” Construction on the $11 million atrium and exterior, designed by the architecture firm Ponikvar and Associates Inc. and built by Ajax Construction Inc., began April 2013.
“This event marks an important milestone in our work,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., UF senior vice president for health affairs and UF Health president. “Today is a celebration of the progress we have made with a physical transformation that represents the hospital-centered care we give to our youngest patients. With the opening of the Sebastian Ferrero Atrium, we are more than halfway toward completion of the children’s hospital.”
The new space includes a donor recognition wall honoring its namesake, Sebastian Ferrero. In addition, it features “Tomorrow,” a sculpture commissioned by the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation and created by world-renowned Miami-based artist Romero Britto. The piece was created as a tribute to the future of children’s health care and is on display in the entrance to the children’s hospital.
“We share a common vision with the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation – a vision of UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital as a destination of hope for the pediatric patients from our community, the state and the Southeast,” Guzick said.
Said Horst and Luisa Ferrero, founders of the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation, “Today represents that dreams can come true when a passionate community comes together in support of a shared vision. As Sebastian’s parents, we are so proud of what is happening today; it is what we set out to accomplish in our son’s memory for the greater benefit of all children and their families. We thank UF Health and our supporters for their dedication as we unveil the opening of the Sebastian Ferrero Atrium.”
With the completion of the children’s hospital glass-front pavilion and the atrium, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital has finished half of the planned projects and renovations. The new UF Health Shands pediatric emergency room opened in 2011; the renovated UF Health pediatric hematology/oncology inpatient and outpatient units opened in 2010; the new UF Health Congenital Heart Center opened January 2014; and the enhanced UF Health pediatric cardiac intensive care unit opened March 2014. These projects have led to enhanced care for patients.
“This year, U.S. News & World Report recognized UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital among the nation’s best in seven specialties; increasing our ranking in five of these programs compared to last year,” said Scott A. Rivkees, M.D., chairman of the UF College of Medicine department of pediatrics and physician-in-chief at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.
Upcoming projects include renovations to the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care units and upgrades to the two pediatric medical/surgical units.
“Our pediatric faculty and staff have served children and their families with high-quality care for decades,” said Edward Jimenez, M.B.A., interim chief executive officer for UF Health Shands Hospital. “And now the families they serve have a dedicated children’s hospital, a facility that truly reflects their dedication and focus on families.”
UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital in north central Florida, treated more than 7,000 children last fiscal year.