The goal of the project was to right-size, consolidate and relocate Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo to the newly designed John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, and fully integrated with Buffalo General Medical Center, Gates Vascular Institute, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo. The 12-story Oishei Children’s Hospital leverages existing logistical support services on campus including mechanicals, materials management and centralized clinical labs. The move from the old campus to the new was to be seamless with no disruption to patient care or operations.
The new $270 million, 475,000 -square-foot health facility, New York’s only freestanding children’s hospital, included 185-modern hospital beds and is now a regional center for comprehensive pediatric trauma, surgical and medical care, including neonatal perinatal and obstetrical services.
An underground tunnel connects the new building with Buffalo General Medical Center and Gates Vascular Institute to provide back-of-house circulation and utility connections. A pedestrian sky bridge connects both
buildings to two floors of clinics and an outpatient surgery center in the adjacent Conventus medical office building, providing circulation for patients, visitors and staff.
Classified as the only Level 1 Regional Pediatric Trauma Center in Western New York, the Alfiero Family Emergency Department is accessible from the main entrance on the first floor and features 19 ED rooms, five Kids Express rooms, and four trauma rooms. Doubled in size compared to the old facility, the ED has an improved waiting area for families and a more efficient flow for patients transferred from the helipad, which was specifically designed for children.
A separate, six-room triage area for laboring mothers also provides direct access to patient elevators for quick transport to the 15-bed labor and delivery unit that occupies half of the third floor. The pedestrian bridge to Buffalo General Medical Center and Gates Vascular Institute on the second and third floors reduces the distance helping to deliver care to high-risk moms.
An inpatient surgical suite on the other half of the third floor, as well as an ambulatory surgery unit on the second floor, provide 14 operating rooms that are larger and better configured than before. The second floor also includes a new imaging hub with connectivity to the adjacent medical office building, providing convenience for families and children having day surgery.
The hospital’s 64-bed private room Children’s Guild Foundation Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on the fourth floor, was designed to be quiet, calm and private. Oishei Children’s Hospital is the region’s designated Regional Perinatal Center and a Level III NICU, providing the most comprehensive and specialized care for the region’s at-risk moms and babies. The womb-like floor allows mothers to be with their babies around the clock and features an all-weather solarium that provides respite for patients, family and staff.
The new NICU is divided into four areas: three self-contained patient areas each with a designated team of nurses and physicians, and the fourth area provides a family waiting room, overnight room, bathroom, lockers and laundry facilities. All patient rooms offer ample space for amenities, including in-room seating that turns into sleeping areas for visiting family. There are eight rooms for twins and one room for as many as six babies.
The Sal H. Alfiero Pediatric Intensive Care Unit on the ninth-floor features 20 private patient rooms designed to foster a comfortable, family-centered care environment.
The Mother-Baby Unit on the eighth floor welcomes new mothers and their newborns after labor and delivery. With an increased focus on evidence-based medicine, all mother-baby rooms are private to encourage skin-to-skin contact immediately after delivery as well as continued mother-baby bonding. A nursery with large glass windows allows visitors to look in at high-risk babies.
More patient rooms occupy the 10th and 11th floors. The 12th floor is dedicated to specialty services and pulls together two previously separate outpatient and inpatient units into a single, expanded-service facility, creating a joint pediatric hematology/oncology unit for the care of children with cancer, rare blood diseases and epilepsy. To support its mission of patient-focused, family-centered care, the hospital decided to provide all-private, acute care rooms that are 50 percent larger than the former hospital. Each patient room features a sleeper sofa, a large wardrobe, a safe for valuables, and a special patient education/entertainment system for both patients and visitors.
For family convenience, each patient floor offers two nourishment rooms equipped with a full-size refrigerator, microwave and ice machine. Waiting areas at the entry to every floor/unit are flooded with natural light and provide spectacular views of the city. Pieces by local Buffalo artists adorn the public areas, adding to the bright, family-friendly environment.