Blythedale Children’s Hospital Begins New Chapter with Groundbreaking for $63.5 Million Project

Modernization Project to Incorporate State-of-the-Art Medical Technology in a Warm and Child-Centered Environment
By: Blythedale Children's Hospital
Architect's rendering of Blythedale's new lobby and rotunda
Architect's rendering of Blythedale's new lobby and rotunda
June 19, 2009 - PRLog -- VALHALLA, NY  --- Blythedale Children’s Hospital began a new and exciting chapter in its 118-year history today as hospital executives and trustees joined with government officials and invited guests for the groundbreaking of a $63.5 million modernization project.

The project will replace Blythedale’s inpatient beds, by constructing a new hospital building which will incorporate the latest medical technology in a warm and child centered environment.  The new building will also feature larger inpatient rooms, in which parents will be able to room-in overnight.

“Today represents a milestone in Blythedale’s long and proud history of providing the finest quality and compassionate care. This important modernization project addresses the dramatic changes in our patient population and diagnoses over the past decade, while reaffirming Blythedale’s reputation as a pre-eminent children's hospital serving infants and children with special medical needs,” said Larry Levine, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blythedale Children’s Hospital.

Blythedale, which is the only independent, free-standing children’s rehabilitation hospital in New York State, is dedicated exclusively to the diagnosis, care and treatment of children with complex medical and rehabilitative needs. The Hospital currently provides inpatient services, outpatient care and a day hospital program to hundreds of children daily.  Blythedale is also the only hospital in the state with its own on-site school district specifically designated to meet the highly specialized needs of its inpatients and day hospital patients. The majority of patients admitted to Blythedale’s inpatient units are direct referrals from neonatal and pediatric intensive care units at major medical centers throughout the tri-state region.

The modernization project, which is scheduled to be completed in September 2011, involves construction of a new inpatient care wing with 55,760 square feet on two levels. The replacement inpatient building will have 86 beds in private and semi-private patient rooms, which will be large enough for parents or family members to stay overnight with their children. There will also be a new lobby and entryway. The new building will feature the following facilities:

Infant, Toddler and Post-Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Blythedale’s new Infant & Toddler Unit will be equipped with the latest technology and optimized for the care and treatment of the Hospital’s most medically complex patients. The new wing will allow these young patients to be grouped together in a single unit where they will benefit from a combination of the finest medical talent and high technology available, and where the Hospital, where appropriate, will be able to achieve the important clinical objective of weaning them off mechanical ventilation.

Traumatic Brain Injury Unit
In the new 10-bed Traumatic Brain Injury Unit each room will be private, soundproof and optimized for the specialized, multidisciplinary care that patients with TBI require. The TBI Unit will also feature its own facility for physical, occupational and speech therapy. Blythedale, which is a leader in the rehabilitation and medical care of children recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury, has seen its TBI program grow as major medical centers discharge TBI patients to Blythedale earlier in the recovery process.

Adolescent Inpatient Unit
The new 16-bed Adolescent Inpatient Unit is designed to create the optimal environment for care of adolescents with a variety of medical and rehabilitative needs. The new Adolescent Inpatient Unit will include a teen lounge.

Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit
The Hospital’s new 14-bed Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit is designed to suit the needs of children who require extensive inpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy before they can return home.

Family Resource Center
To accommodate the needs of parents and family members who must spend extended periods of time visiting patients at the Hospital, the new inpatient building will feature a Family Resource Center. The Family Resource Center will have a kitchen and dining area, TV and family room and a meditation room for spiritual reflection. To support parent education and help families stay in touch while their children are in the Hospital, the Family Center will also include a medical library and computers.  

The overall design for Blythedale will create a warm, inviting and playful environment using simple shapes and a simple color palette on both the exterior and interior.  From the moment you enter Blythedale’s campus you will see that this is a clearly a place meant for children with visual elements such as topiary animals, warm colors and building-block shapes. In addition to creating a clearly defined and visible entrance, the new rotunda will also improve functionality such as a covered drop-off for patients and visitors.

Garden areas inside and out will play a key role in the new design. There will be exterior garden spaces for patients and visitors and “pocket gardens” outside of each patient room cluster so that all patient rooms have a view into a garden space. Natural stone will be used to line the garden areas and create a base for the building as well as enhance a connection to the natural environment which is visible from all patient rooms through large windows.

By working with hospital staff to create program spaces throughout the building, the architects have created interior spaces that will have a natural and non-institutional look designed to nurture the patients, their families and staff. Splashes of color will be used throughout to serve as visual links between all areas.  


ARCHITECT: MorrisSwitzer Environments for Health is the only architecture firm in the Northeast committed exclusively to health care. With offices located in Williston, VT; Boston, MA, and Portland, ME, MorrisSwitzer provides Master Planning, Programming, Site Selection, Architectural Design, Planning, Zoning and Permitting Assistance, Interior Design, and Medical Office Building Development Services. The firm has created healing and wellness environments for more than 2,000 projects at over 90 hospital campuses.  

CONSTRUCTION MANAGER: Bovis Lend Lease is one of the world’s leading project management and construction companies operating in more than 30 countries worldwide and employing over 8,500 people.  The company’s New York office has 700+ professionals are dedicated to serving projects through its full spectrum of construction services.

CIVIL ENGINEER: AKRF is a multidisciplinary consulting firm specializing in environmental, planning, and engineering services. AKRF’s engineering division provides a broad range of site/civil engineering services, including site planning and layout design, parking and ramp layout for outdoor and garage structures, roadway and signal design, sewer and utility design, subdivision plans, sediment and erosion control, storm water management, environmental remediation design, and coastal protection structures.

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Thornton Tomasetti provides engineering services to clients worldwide on projects of all sizes and complexity, with practices in building structure, building skin and building performance. Thornton Tomasetti is an award-winning organization of engineers and architects collaborating from offices across the United States and in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

MECHANICAL ENGINEER: WSP Flack + Kurtz is a multi-faceted engineering firm that has completed significant projects with internationally acclaimed architects for the world's largest corporations, developers, and institutions. The firm continues to be an international leader in providing complete engineering services in mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, security, information technology and architectural lighting design.

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About Blythedale Children’s Hospital: Founded more than 100 years ago, Blythedale Children's Hospital has been a leader in developing innovative, multi-disciplinary inpatient and ambulatory programs, as well as a community resource for children with a variety of medical concerns. Through its inpatient, day hospital programs and outpatient programs, Blythedale Children’s Hospital treats more than 300 children daily, making it one of the largest children's services in New York State. Because of the unique and comprehensive array of pediatric programs and services, children and families come to Blythedale from the tri-state region and beyond. For more information about Blythedale Children’s Hospital visit
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Tags:Blythedale, Hospitals, Healthcare, Children S Hospitals, Medicine, Westchester County, Rehabilitation, Medical
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