Sneak Peek at Mercy Children’s Hospital Springfield

Each year, Mercy sets aside May 1 as “Day of the Child,” a time for the health system to affirm its ongoing commitment to excellence in children’s health. This year, Mercy Children’s Hospital Springfield hosted several local school groups for a day of learning and fun, as well as a look at the first phase of the new Mercy Children’s Hospital Springfield.

Mercy has been committed to taking care of kids since 1827. Mercy’s foundress, Catherine McAuley, began her healing ministry by serving the sick and poor children and women in Dublin, Ireland. She would no doubt be pleased to see how highly-specialized Mercy has become in caring for children.

“It’s important to have the right specialists and facilities to care for children when they are not well,” said Cindy Whitten, vice president of women’s services and Mercy Children’s Hospital Springfield. “But we also want to be a place where they can come when they are perfectly healthy. As today clearly demonstrates, everyone’s mood brightens when children are around, and we are so blessed they spent part of their day with us.”

Day of the Child in Springfield began with children singing in the main hospital lobby. From there, tour guides took them through the first floor of Mercy Children’s Hospital. The facility, located in the east wing of the main hospital, is undergoing major renovations. One highlight included the relocated Jane Pitt Pediatric Cancer Center which houses the St. Jude Mercy Affiliate Clinic.

Mercy child life specialists also led the children through medical play, letting them use dolls as they listened to heartbeats and checked the dolls for fever. There was a dietician demonstration on how much sugar is in different drinks, and kids assembled tissue paper flowers and wrote notes of encouragement for other children who are currently hospitalized.

Phase I of Mercy Children’s Hospital Springfield is set for completion in fall 2013. The remodel consists of exterior updating of the façade in addition to:

New windows and curtain wall system New mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems New covered patient drop-off and pick-up locations New two-story entrance to improve patient access New patient discharge elevator for convenience North and south child-friendly courtyards with playful, colorful sculpture Relocated and expanded Jane Pitt Pediatric Cancer Center, which houses the St. Jude Mercy Affiliate Clinic Child-friendly food service area Resource area with computer stations Mercy Family Resource Center classrooms for educational programs

The convenient center for pediatric care is designed for future growth and new technologies. Plans for the remaining floors of the east wing are still being developed as Mercy Children’s Hospital responds to meet the growing needs of the community.

For more pictures from the day's events, please visit Mercy Springfield Day of the Child Slideshow.

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