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Helen DeVos Children's Hospital News
Hospital Marks One Year in New Building

January 11 is a date Lyn Hollister will always remember. Her daughter Makenzie made history on January 11, 2011, when she became one of the first patients at the new Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. In a unique coincidence, Makenzie will be in the hospital again on January 11, 2012 as the hospital marks its one year anniversary in the new building.

Makenzie and her twin sister Shelbie were born premature and spent months in the Gerber Foundation Neonatal Center at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Both girls now see multiple specialists at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital including nephrology, pulmonary, ophthalmology, cardiology and endocrinology physicians.

“Our hospital is here for children like Makenzie and Shelbie,” said Bob Connors, MD, president, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. “Families often don’t anticipate needing to see specialists but when they do, we are here.”

First Year Facts about the New Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

  • More than 8,300 admissions
  • More than 6,600 surgeries
  • More than 41,300 emergency department visits
  • More than 53,000 radiology procedures
  • More than 31,000 salads, 28,000 pizzas and 5,700 gallons of ice cream sold in the Balk Café
  • More than 1,300 bike helmets and 700 car/booster seats distributed through the Safe Kids program
  • Nearly 24,000 hours logged by community volunteers
  • Nine local, regional and national awards related to the building including recognition from the International Interior Design Association, the American Society of Landscape Architects and Engineering News Record
  • Two awards for recognition of the patient safety culture including acknowledgment by Modern Healthcare and the National Patient Safety Foundation

“Today marks the anniversary of our move to the new children’s hospital but it’s really a celebration of having care devoted to infants, children and adolescents in Grand Rapids for many, many years,” added Connors. “Our first year in the new building has exceeded our expectations. It’s exciting to think what the next year will bring in terms of program development, continued community support and inspiring patient stories.”

The new hospital dramatically changed the skyline on Michigan Street's "Medical Mile" in Grand Rapids and is changing health care for children. Supported by nearly $103 million in generous community support, special features of a 440,000 square foot, 212 bed and 14 story hospital include:

  • A child-friendly atmosphere designed to make kids feel comfortable and safe
  • A healing environment celebrating the region's natural beauty of water, land, sky and sun
  • An outdoor garden accessible from the main lobby
  • Spacious, private inpatient rooms where parents may stay overnight
  • An expanded neonatal center with 40 private rooms
  • A 24-bed pediatric critical care unit for critically ill and injured children
  • An emergency department and operating and recovery rooms just for children
  • A pediatric heart catheterization laboratory and pediatric radiology department with the latest diagnostic imaging technology
  • Room to play and entertainment to foster healing and hope
  • Quiet spaces and a chapel for all faiths

Parking for the new children's hospital is available at 35 Michigan Street in Ramp 3. Patients and families using the emergency department have access to complimentary valet parking off Bostwick Avenue.