Category Archives: Pediatrics

Childrens

Children’s Opens: The Full Report

Children’s of Alabama Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children Opens

 

The Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children (BRHFC) opened for patient move-in on August 4. The opening marked the highly anticipated completion of construction on the 12-story, 760,000-square-foot, $400 million expansion at Children’s of Alabama, the state’s only freestanding pediatric hospital.

 

HKS, Inc., in partnership with Giattina Aycock Studio, served as architect. KLMK Group was project manager; Hoar Construction, in partnership with KBR, served as construction manager.

 

Located one block north of the existing facility, BRHFC will accommodate projected growth in patient volume, anticipated medical technology needs and the planned consolidation of pediatric services including cardiovascular surgery and comprehensive solid organ transplant care. The hospital is licensed for 332 beds plus 48 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) bassinets.

 

Mike Warren, president and CEO of Children’s of Alabama, said, “We are delighted to open the doors of this magnificent facility to serve the children and families of Alabama.  The beauty of the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children, its advanced technology, its environmental aspects and its family-focused design all serve as a wonderful backdrop for the skill, knowledge and commitment of the healthcare professionals who work here to provide care every day.  Our team is focused on one mighty mission: to provide the very best healthcare available to every child who walks through our doors. That is the true importance of this expansion.”

 

It is the largest single medical facility expansion project in the history of Alabama, and will make Children’s the third-largest pediatric hospital in the United States, as measured by square footage. The opening of the facility also allows Children’s to increase its licensed beds from 275 to 332, with an additional 48 neonatal bassinets. The total of 380 beds and bassinets ranks Children’s in the top 10 pediatric medical centers, based on bed count. The building is also the largest building project in state history to gain certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and will be the first LEED-certified hospital in Alabama.

 

The building is named in honor of legendary Alabama entrepreneur Benjamin Russell (1876-1941) and to recognize the $25 million gift from his grandson, Ben Russell and Ben’s wife Luanne, both longtime hospital supporters.

 

An Iconic Campus Building

According to Doug Compton, AIA, principal/senior designer with HKS, the BRHFC building stands as an iconic presence representing a new standard of pediatric healthcare offered in Alabama. “The hospital’s curvilinear design combines vision, gradate and opaque glass types that are punctuated with colors interspersed throughout the building – inside and out – for visual interest.”

 

The hospital is sited to best connect with the surrounding University of Alabama campus as well as the city and region. “The bed tower’s orientation promotes views to the central business district and Red Mountain, an important Birmingham landmark,” continued Compton. “The lobby and plaza form a visual tie to the 17th Street corridor, an urban link to the Railroad Park and, ultimately, downtown Birmingham.”

 

Family-Centered Care

To support its mission to provide family-centered care, BRHFC offers private, acute care rooms that are 30 percent larger than the largest rooms in the present building and, for the first time in the 100-year history of Children’s, all-private rooms in critical care units. Each features a sleeper sofa, large wardrobe and small safe for valuables, along with a special patient education/entertainment system.

 

For more family convenience, each patient floor offers a laundry room and a kitchen equipped with a full-size refrigerator, microwave and ice machine. Waiting areas at the end of the hallways are awash with natural light and provide sweeping views of the city, while 120 original works by Alabama artists decorate the public areas, adding to the family-friendly environment.

 

“Patients, families and visitors will find their way through the building using any of several visual cues that have been incorporated into the hospital’s interior design,” said Iris Dates, IIDA, EDAC, LEED AP, vice president/director of design for healthcare interiors for HKS. “A blue patient journey curving pattern within the terrazzo floors winds through the public areas, directing foot traffic to and from entrances, elevators and patient care areas. All patient floors and rooms are identified not only by number, but also by color and a special theme unique to each floor.”

 

Ahead of Schedule, Under Budget, Working with the Community

The project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. On a project of this size, coordination and collaboration were critical to the successful delivery of the BRHFC.  “From the onset, and through the many hurdles associated with a large complicated construction project, the project team had a laser focus on achieving our primary objective, which was to fulfill our commitment to the owner – finish on schedule and within their required budget. After three challenging years, we were able to actually over-deliver. The project completed on schedule and under budget. We absolutely credit this achievement to the collaboration of the entire project team,” stated Bill McMahon, president & COO of KLMK Group.

 

Doug Eckert, executive vice president of Hoar Construction said, “The Joint Venture construction team was committed to making this project an example for local participation and development of minority-owned and disadvantaged businesses. Through a unique, comprehensive mentoring approach and partnership with the Birmingham Construction Industry Authority, we were able to do just that.  More than 100 local minority-owned and disadvantaged businesses helped construct this wonderful facility, and thousands of local workers were employed, making a huge impact on families in this community.”

 

Environmentally Friendly

BRHFC is poised to become the first healthcare facility in Alabama to gain the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, due to its design and use of sustainable, energy-efficient and environmentally responsible materials. BRHFC is more energy-efficient, requires less maintenance and will last longer so that cost savings can be directed toward resources that enable Children’s to provide excellent healthcare to the children of Alabama.

 

A highlight of the effort to gain LEED certification is the rooftop gardens that are planted with native sedum to provide insulation and oxygenation. Up to 30,000 gallons of condensate is collected from the air conditioning system and used for irrigation and also to cool equipment. Designated green spaces on campus, 140 bicycle racks, and the orientation of the building all contribute to the hospital’s Earth-friendly profile.

 

“It has been a pleasure to work with such a talented and devoted team on this project,” said Mike McDevitt, executive vice president, facilities and technology, Children’s of Alabama. “All of the principal players and all those involved at every level with the construction of this facility have given 100 percent.  To each of them, it was more than just another job.  It was personal and meaningful, and that showed in their work and in the finished facility.  I can’t wait to see it used to provide care and healing for children today and well into the future.”

pool-rules

Pool Rules: Old School or True?

You were probably raised with waterfront warnings from life guards, swim coaches, and parents like these: “Wait 30 minutes after eating before you swim,” and “If you hear thunder, run for it!” Do these poolside standbys still apply? We talked to UAB internist and pediatrician Stephen W. Russell, MD, to find out.

The Rule: Buddy Up—You should never swim alone.
The Verdict: True. “Even for expert swimmers, it is best to have others around to watch out for any unexpected issues,” Dr. Russell says. “This is true for pools, but especially important for lakes, rivers, and oceans where it is hard to see below the surface.”

The Rule: Rest and Digest—Wait 30 minutes, even after a small snack, before swimming.
The Verdict: False. While it’s true that you should generally follow this guideline, it’s not necessary where small bites are concerned. “The reason for this traditional rule is that exertion of any type immediately after eating can cause abdominal and stomach cramping that can be not only uncomfortable, but also dangerous if you are alone,” Dr. Russell says. “A good rule is to wait for half an hour after any meal, small snacks excluded, before taking to the water.”

The Rule: Reapply, Don’t Fry—Slather on your SPF every hour or so to prevent sunburns.
The Verdict: True. “After being outside for more than an hour, you should reapply sunscreen, because the water and sweat will have likely reduced the effectiveness of the protection,” Russell says. “Children less than six months old should be covered with clothing: hats and “rash-guard”-style swimsuits; and older children should use a high SPF sunscreen.

The Rule: Thunder = Time to Exit—Don’t wait until you see lightening before seeking a safe shelter.
The Verdict: True. “As a general rule, stay out of the water when it is storming,” Dr. Russell says. “Lightening can easily strike the water and electrocute anyone in the pool. If you hear thunder, get out of the water until the storm passes.”

The Rule: Floaties are Functional—Orange arm bands are great for young kiddos still learning to swim.
The Verdict: False. “Floaties on the arms are not adequate, as they do not force a child’s head above water, and they prevent a child from using their hands for their own protection,” Dr. Russell says. “When buying a personal flotation device, look for one that goes around the chest and/or bathing suit, and preferably one that fits like a jacket.”

 

Source: UAB

New Children's of Alabama Hospital Dedicated Today

New Children’s of Alabama Hospital Dedicated Today

CHILDREN’S OF ALABAMA’S NEW BENJAMIN RUSSELL HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN DEDICATED TODAY

The Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children (BRHFC) was dedicated during a special event held in front of the 12-story, 760,000-square-feet building today. The dedication marked the highly-anticipated completion of construction on the $400 million expansion at Children’s of Alabama, the state’s only freestanding pediatric hospital.

Governor Robert Bentley and Birmingham mayor William Bell joined Children’s CEO and president Mike Warren, hospital leadership and staff as youngsters who have received care at Children’s presented the keys to the building to Dr. Sergio Stagno, Physician-in-Chief; Dr. Jerry Oakes, Surgeon-in-Chief and Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery; and Chief Nursing Executive Deb Wesley.

Located one block north of the existing facility, the BRHFC will accommodate projected growth in patient volume, anticipated medical technology needs and the planned consolidation of pediatric services including cardiovascular surgery and comprehensive solid organ transplant care. The hospital is licensed for 332 beds plus 48 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) bassinets. It is the largest medical facility expansion project in the history of Alabama and will make Children’s the third largest pediatric hospital in the United States. The building is also the largest building project in state history to gain certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and will be the first LEED-certified hospital in Alabama. The BRHFC will welcome patients beginning Aug. 4.

The building is named in honor of legendary Alabama entrepreneur Benjamin Russell (1876-1941) and to recognize the $25 million gift by his grandson, Ben Russell and Ben’s wife Luanne, both longtime hospital supporters. Groundbreaking took place in May, 2009. KLMK Group was project manager, Hoar Construction, in partnership with BE&K, served as construction manager, and HIKS, Inc., in partnership with Giattina Aycock Studio, served as architect. Construction was completed on time and under budget.

Family-centered care
To support its mission to provide family-centered care, the BRHFC offers private acute care rooms that are 30-percent larger than the largest rooms in the present building and, for the first time in Children’s 100-year history, all-private rooms in all critical care units. Each features a sleeper sofa, large wardrobe and small safe for valuables, along with a special patient education/entertainment system.

For more family convenience, each patient floor offers a laundry room and a kitchen equipped with a full-size refrigerator, microwave and ice machine. Waiting areas at the end of the hallways are flooded with natural light and provide sweeping views of the city while 120 original works by Alabama artists decorate the public areas, adding to the family-friendly environment.

Patients, families and visitors will find their way through the building using any of several visual cues that have been incorporated into the hospital’s interior design. A blue river motif within the terrazzo floors winds through the public areas, directing foot traffic to and from entrances, elevators and patient care areas. All patient floors and rooms are identified not only by number, but also by color and a special theme unique to each floor.

Technology
The BRHFC provides an unmatched setting for state-of-the-art technology that surpasses any available elsewhere in the state. Seventeen high-tech operating rooms increase the hospital’s general surgery capabilities while two specialized cardiovascular ORs will unite the pediatric cardiac care currently provided at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Children’s under one roof later this year

The Colonel Harland Sanders neonatal intensive care unit provides critical care services for up to 48 newborns as well as the state’s only pediatric extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) capabilities. ECMO is also available in the pediatric and the cardiovascular intensive care units. The hospital’s rooftop helipad can accommodate the landing of a Black Hawk military helicopter which is often used during rescue operations in disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.

Environmentally-friendly
The BHRFC is poised to become the first healthcare facility in Alabama to gain the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, due to its design and use of sustainable, energy-efficient and environmentally responsible materials. “Green” buildings create an environment of wellness for patients and staff that aligns with the Children’s mission. The BHFRC is more energy-efficient, requires less maintenance and will last longer so that cost savings can be directed toward resources that enable Children’s to provide excellent health care to the children of Alabama.

A highlight of the effort to gain LEED certification is the rooftop gardens that are planted in native sedum to provide insulation and oxygenation. Up to 30,000 gallons of condensate are collected from the air conditioning system and used for irrigation and also to cool equipment. Designated “green” spaces on campus, 140 bicycle racks, and even the orientation of the building as it faces due north all contribute to the hospital’s earth-friendly profile.

Economics
Anticipated cost of the project is $399 million; $261 million for construction and the remainder for equipment, furnishings and other related costs. Financing is comprised of tax-exempt bond proceeds; state, county and local government support including $20 million from the city of Birmingham; and $110 million in contributions from employees, individuals, foundations and corporations. Major gifts include $25 million from Ben and Luanne Russell; $10 million from McWane, Inc. and the McWane Foundation; $8 from the Monday Morning Quarterback Club; $5 million from Raymond and Kathryn Harbert; and $5 million from the Hugh Kaul Foundation. Construction has generated approximately 1,746 jobs with a $70.6 million payroll. The daily operating budget is $2 million, compared to $1.3 million per day prior to the expansion.

About Children’s of Alabama
Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children across the state and throughout the southeastern U.S. since 1911. Children’s offers inpatient and outpatient services across its Russell Campus on Birmingham’s historic Southside with additional outpatient surgery and diagnostic imaging services provided at Children’s South and Children’s on 3rd. Primary care is provided at more than a dozen offices in communities across central and north Alabama. The Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children is the only hospital in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet-designated hospital for excellence in nursing care. In 2010 and 2011, Children’s was ranked among the best children’s hospital programs in the nation by US News & World Report. It is a private, not-for-profit hospital that serves as the primary site of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pediatric medicine, surgery, research and residency programs. Last year, patients made more than 634,000 outpatient and nearly 14,000 inpatient visits to Children’s from every county in Alabama and from 47 other states. More information is available at www.childrensal.org.

But the Baby Teeth Aren’t Gone Yet!

But the Baby Teeth Aren’t Gone Yet!

You’ll be surprised at what age your child should be seeing an orthodontist. But having your child’s teeth assessed early can mean cheaper and easier corrections while their bones are still growing.

When you think kids and orthodontists, you think braces. If so, you’re thinking about orthodontists too late.

About the time they start school. By 7 years old, some molars have begun to show and baby teeth are dropping out. So things are shifting in the mouth and that’s when kids should be seen by an orthodontist to have their bite evaluated. “We’re looking for habits, like thumb sucking or mouth breathing in asthma sufferers, and for protrusive teeth or bad bite alignment,” says Stephanie B. Whitehead, DMD, MS, an orthodontist since 1988 in Birmingham.

The bones are in motion. “Certain things correct more easily while children’s bones are still forming,” says Dr. Whitehead. “It lessens the severity of the correction later if you catch some problems early.” For instance, a child who tongue thrusts while swallowing can drastically deform their tooth alignment and form speech impediments.

Parents! Listen to this.
“I think what most parents ignore about their children’s teeth is the potential for skeletal problems,” says Dr. Whitehead. “If you catch a bite problem in a girl by age 10 or 11, before her growth spurt, you have a much better chance of correcting it permanently and without surgery, than if you wait until 13, when most girls are done growing.” The CDC has growth charts here.

It’s free!
Most orthodontists don’t charge for that initial assessment visit. “We want to get a baseline for the child,” says Dr. Whitehead. “So isn’t it better to eliminate any possibility that there’s a problem forming rather than assume it’s all normal and then face serious corrections in the future?”

They’re wrong about orthodontists. Dr. Whitehead says the one piece of advice she wishes parents would hear is that “orthodontists are more about perfecting the bite of their child for functional purposes rather than about their pretty smile.”

I feel good. “Another reason to bring your children in early to see an orthodontist is for their self-confidence,” says Dr. Whitehead. “If they’re very embarrassed about their teeth, it can affect their whole psyche.” Protruding teeth, funny chewing habits, and gaps will mean teasing. A better bite early on means another area of themselves you’ve given your child to feel good about. And a healthy, confident child is what every parent strives for.

by Jane Ehrhardt


To read more about Dr. Whitehead, click here.
For more on her practice in Birmingham, click here.


This article written and brought to you by BirminghamDoctors.com.