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Profiles of Change

Blank Children's Hospital ©Paul Warchol

Blank Children's Hospital
A Hospital's Commitment to Family-Centered Care

Even before the grand opening of their new hospital in summer 2001, Blank Children's Hospital was dedicated to family-centered care. The groundwork was laid by an active Family Advisory Council, the untiring efforts of parents and staff who worked to establish a family-centered philosophy, and the commitment of hospital administrators and the Board of Directors.

In 1997, the Family Ambassador program was developed to introduce the basic concepts of family-centered care. The program goals were designed to help staff develop a greater understanding of hospitalization and health care experiences from the family's perspective and enhance empathy, communication skills, tolerance for diversity, and commitment to collaboration and partnership.

“From the colorful decor, private rooms, and kid-friendly food, Blank Children's entire environment puts children and families at ease and encourages families to participate in the care of their children during any and every hour of the day.”

—Steve Stephenson, M.D.
Medical Director

Renovation of the Children's Hospital–Transition Planning

Guided by the mission, “Blank Children's Hospital is committed to healing, caring, and teaching for the whole child,” Blank placed the child and family first in the design of their “new” clinical space.

Blank Children’s Hospital moved to “temporary housing” while the current facility underwent a massive renovation. Various workgroups comprised of staff and families were convened to address issues related to the “temporary housing” such as continuity of care, logistics, and communication strategies among staff, patients, and families.

One of the workgroups focused their efforts on improving emergency communication. Through use of current technology and streamlining the process, emergency alerts now occur in a more efficient manner. Another group assessed the medication administration process; the new program includes unit dosing of antibiotics and decentralization of medication storage. Such new situations call for innovative approaches, and the Blank staff and families together are creating ways to manage the new environment of patient care. For more information please visit our environment and design section.

Blank Children's Hospital Lobby ©Paul Warchol
“Family-centered care also helps ensure information is provided in ways families can understand. Through that communication, we can build a relationship with respect for patients' and families' traditions, beliefs, and value systems and enable families to partner with the healthcare staff to make the best decisions for their child.”

—Nici Johnston, Director, Family
Services Program

Now a Reality–Key Features

  • Single Hospital Room
    ©Paul Warchol
    Private, spacious rooms, which comfortably accommodate overnight stays by a family member for all pediatrics units including pediatric ICU and newborn ICU.
  • Family amenities, including sleeping space, refrigerator, TV, VCR and CD player, and tub/shower facilities, are located in every patient room.
  • Level III neonatal intensive care nursery offering all private rooms, with family amenities, necessary to stay and bond with their baby.
  • Family space on each unit with nourishment items for family members.
  • A family member sleeps on the couch in a hospital room
    ©Paul Warchol
    A kitchenette, where families can gather or celebrate special occasions while in the hospital.
  • Comfortable lounges on every floor, where families can go to relax or just catch their breath.
  • Play areas for patients and their siblings on every floor.

children's play area
©Paul Warchol

Due to administrative support, partnerships with families, and a thoughtful educational approach, family-centered policies and practices have become firmly established at Blank Children's Hospital. In 2002, the hospital's Board of Directors voted to revise the hospital's mission statement, and solidified their commitment to family-centered care, as they unveiled “Blank Children's Hospital is Committed to Family-Centered Healing, Caring and Teaching.”

For more information about Blank Children's Hospital
check out their website:

To learn more about family-centered care at the hospital please contact:
Julie Pedigo
Blank Children's Hospital
(515) 241-8624