Seattle Children's Hospital opens Building Hope expansion and first teen and young adult cancer unit

Cancer and critical care patients move in April 21; emergency department opens April 23

Apr 22, 2013, 06:30 ET from Seattle Children's Hospital

SEATTLE, April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Care teams Sunday moved patients into new cancer and critical care units in Seattle Children's Building Hope expansion, which includes the country's first inpatient cancer unit dedicated to teens and young adults. A new emergency department in the expansion will open on Tuesday, April 23.

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The new Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer unit includes 16 inpatient beds for teens and young adults. The AYA unit provides a much-needed medical home for this age group, with targeted psychosocial support and an age-appropriate environment where patients can connect with their peers. Other unique features of the unit include a therapy gym, patient lounge, rooftop terrace, and multi-disciplinary care teams that include a dedicated psychologist and child life specialist.

During a ribbon-cutting ceremony to welcome the first patients and staff into the new building, Lisa Brandenburg, MBA, MPH, president of Seattle Children's, said, "This is an exciting moment in our history. This signifies a new chapter in the hospital's mission to care for all children who need us now, and into the future."

In addition to the critical care and cancer inpatient units, Building Hope includes an expanded emergency department (ED), which will open at 7 a.m. Tuesday, April 23. The new ED has 38 exam rooms – 17 more than the existing ED – and a new model of care that allows families to be seen by a nurse right away. This innovative approach to emergency care means patients will have shorter wait times and shorter ED stays overall.

More space to serve the region's sickest children

Building Hope adds 330,000 square feet and 80 new beds to meet the demand for more space to treat the region's sickest children. Each room in Building Hope is private, reducing the risk of infection and promoting healing and peace for patients and their families. Larger patient rooms allow families to be with their child every step of the way.

The rooms feature many patient-centered amenities, such as adjustable temperature and colored lighting, personal refrigerators, and "Get Well Town," an interactive, Internet-equipped TV entertainment system with access to movies, games, and personalized care information. Each inpatient unit also includes a quiet room and family lounge so families can recharge and reconnect with the outside world.

"We listened to our patient families and staff," said Thomas Hansen, MD, chief executive officer.  "We've given patients more control, more privacy and more space."

During design, Seattle Children's convened a unique advisory board of current and former patient families and staff to provide insight into improving the typical hospital experience. In all, more than 17,000 staff hours and three years of planning and building went into creating a facility with a goal of making a very stressful time as comfortable as possible for patients and families.

"I don't feel so bad coming into the hospital now," said patient David Padilla, 18, of the new space. "It's something different, something to look forward to."

Building Hope was also built with the environment in mind. The building is expected to use 47 percent less energy and 30 percent less water than similar-sized hospitals in the region. Children's replanted more than 4,000 plants, trees and shrubs, and more than 90 percent of the demolition debris was diverted from landfills through recycling and material reuse during construction.

Building Hope is located at Seattle Children's main campus at 4500 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105.

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About Seattle Children's Hospital

Consistently ranked as one of the best children's hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Children's serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children's hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Children's has been delivering superior patient care and advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Children's serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children's Research Institute and Seattle Children's Hospital Foundation. For more information, visit

Contact: Meghan Pembroke, 206-987-5210 or

SOURCE Seattle Children's Hospital