Project Category - Remodel/Renovation (completed April 2001)

Facility Contact - Jean Schmidt, (312) 942-1853

Firm - HLM Design, (312) 609-1300

Design Team - Bill Gran, Principal-in-Charge; Frank Berstein, Construction Administration; Alan Mack, Director of Interior Design; Katie Moore, Project Manager; John Mason, Director of Engineering

Patient/Bed Capacity - N/A

Total Building Area (sq. ft.) - 20,000

Total Land Area (acres) - N/A

Total Cost - $4,500,000


This renovation transformed a former inpatient unit into a state-of-the-art home for three key Rush Children's Hospital outpatient programs: Rush Children's Heart Center; Pediatric Respiratory Medicine (including the Center for Disorders of Respiratory Control & SIDS Research and the Pediatric Pulmonary Function Laboratory); and the Pediatric Dialysis Unit.

The floor is designed around a rain forest theme; design details, including exceptional art glass, carpeting and signage, carry this theme throughout. The design facilitates future flexibility and accommodates children of all ages with varying acuities/special needs. The lighting design provides a more modern, less sterile atmosphere than before.

Overall goals for the project included: (1) provide a safe, nonthreatening, comfortable environment for patients/families and accommodate both their privacy and socialization needs; (2) provide treatment areas that facilitate efficient and effective service delivery; and (3) maximize space utilization and flexibility through shared areas and multipurpose rooms.

Examples of how these design goals were met include:

  • In the Center for Disorders of Respiratory Control, custom cabinetry and Roman shade curtains hide the complex technology from patients/families. Videos, cable access to education channels and Nintendo consoles provide the patients with a variety of entertaining and educational options during their treatment. Parents are able to sleep in the patient's room, where special drawers are provided for safe storage of possessions. Signage was created without room names so the children can locate their room by animal. A new security system assures the safety of the patient, family and staff during overnight studies.

  • In the Heart Center, room design allows for parental presence. Individual television units and artwork provide distractions for the patient during diagnosis and treatment. All furniture, utilities and hardware are designed specifically to meet the needs of the children. Staff and physicians have ample work space and also have immediate access to telemedicine facilities unique to the Heart Center.

  • The Dialysis Unit, including a separate area for pediatric dialysis training and pediatric isolation, if needed, is designed to enable patient observation from any location in the unit. Stations are positioned so that the children have natural lighting and a window view during their multihour sessions. Curtains separate chairs for privacy when needed, but are close enough for the children to interact with each other when desired. Each station is equipped with individual televisions, VCRs and Sony PlayStations to keep the children engaged during treatment. Separate staff and patient bathrooms are contained within the unit to accommodate its unique operation.

  • Respiratory medicine, the clinic rooms, pulmonary and sleep laboratories, and work areas for nursing and technical staff are contained in the same area for maximum staff efficiency. Each clinic room contains direct gas supplies required to conduct studies, as well as computers and staff work space, providing flexibility throughout.

  • The floor includes a centralized, shared patient/family waiting room with a nourishment area; a conference room that can accommodate both general meetings and various types of presentations for staff education; and a smaller patient education room/consultation room.