Yesterday, several Jennings employees were in Greenville, NC celebrating the opening of Vidant Health’s new children’s hospital, James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital at Vidant Medical Center. While I never want my children to end up in the hospital, this would be the type of healing environment I’d want my child to experience. The hospital was designed and created through the eyes of a child, and it shows.
The entire 78,000 square foot hospital design centers around an under-the-sea theme. Even from outside, the building shape mimics a ship complete with ship sails. Once inside, the person behind the shell-shaped lobby desk, appropriately called the Reception Reef, greets visitors. The expansive lobby, Lobby Lagoon, with cathedral-height ceilings has large sea creatures like dolphins and turtles hanging from the ceiling. There is a 700-gallon aquarium as well.
Further down the hallway, there is a humongous interactive screen that could keep kids busy for hours. They can write words in the sand, drag sea creatures to various places and pop floating bubbles.
The pleasant environment with its soothing blues and greens isn’t all about aesthetics. The hospital has a handful of “diversion rooms” that use the latest technology to distract children while they are having certain procedures performed. If a child is paying attention to something else besides what the medical staff is doing, they are less likely to notice discomfort and to need sedation. When a child lays on the table for x-rays, for example, the screen directly overhead in the ceiling shows child-appropriate images with music. Colored lights around the walls and in ceiling canisters overhead are timed with the images.
There are many, many other features – a Ronald McDonald House inside the hospital, only one of two hospitals in the state to offer inpatient pediatric rehabilitation, “small” furniture for kids, low-height nursing stations built with kids in mind. Way too many positive things to mention. The hospital was definitely built just for kids. It’s a dream realized for Vidant Health… and for parents in eastern North Carolina. Check out these additional photos.