Hope for Pediatric Heart Patients

Published: February 27th, 2014

Category: Your Gift in Action

UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital celebrated the grand opening of its pediatric cardiac intensive care unit Jan. 10.

PCICU Ribbon-cuttingUF Health Shands Children’s Hospital is taking great strides in providing highly specialized care to patients with congenital heart disease, with the opening of a pediatric cardiac intensive care unit. The unit’s transformation from administrative offices to advanced clinical space embodies UF Health’s commitment to create a family focused children’s hospital.

“We’re thrilled to offer first-class care in a first-class facility for our patients and their families,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., UF senior vice president for health affairs and UF Health president. “Everything we’ve done is designed to ensure their comfort. This is one more example of the progress we’ve made in achieving the goals set out in UF Health’s strategic plan, ‘Forward Together,’ which places the patient at the center of everything we do.”

Located on the 10th floor of the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, the 18,000-square-foot pediatric cardiac intensive care unit includes 23 private patient rooms, each with its own bathroom and shower. The rooms feature ceiling-mounted exam lights, ceiling-mounted patient-lifting systems, and a kid-friendly gaming station and television. Each room also has a nurse’s alcove in the corridor with monitoring systems for patient observation.

“We have done such a good job even in the current system,” said Mark Bleiweis, M.D., director and principal cardiothoracic surgeon for the UF Health Congenital Heart Center. “We are going to have more space, more beds and more access. It’s recognition of the great work by our team of physicians and nurses, and it speaks to UF Health’s commitment to taking care of kids with congenital heart disease.”

The new PCICU will double as a general pediatric intensive care unit until mid-spring while the current PICU undergoes renovation. Patients are scheduled to move into the new unit Jan. 15.

“We’re fulfilling our promise to expand outstanding pediatric care at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and make it even more accessible to the families who need us,” said Tim Goldfarb, UF Health Shands CEO. “We’re matching physical resources with the incredible human intellectual firepower and capital across the organization. We’re united and energized by a common focus and passion — our patients.”