​West Campus PICU expansion hits halfway point

July 18, 2017

Three years ago, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus opened an eight-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit thanks to a generous $1 million donation by the Lauren and Lara Camillo family. This fall, the last chunk of a $50 million capital improvement effort will expand the unit to 22 beds.

Construction on the project hit a midway point this summer and is expected to be complete in October, providing Texas Children’s West Campus and the entire Texas Children’s system with an opportunity to serve more patients and families that need our care.

Initially, 16 of the beds will be used for intensive care and six will be for acute care. Two of the intensive care beds will have negative pressure and can be used for isolation. All of the beds provide more privacy for our patients and families, as well as better visibility and workflow for our nurses and other medical staff.

Located on the fourth floor of the hospital and painted in calming pastels, the unit expansion includes two large nursing stations advanced practice provider workspace, a simulation room, nutrition room, lactation room, call room and conference space.

The patient rooms are spacious and have a private bathroom and seating/sleep area for family. The rooms are lined with windows that face outside, letting in sunlight and allowing for great views of the hospital grounds and surrounding community. The rooms also include several windows that face nursing stations and adjoining rooms, giving medical staff ample visibility at all times.

Equipment in the rooms and on the floor is robust and includes two blood gas machines for respiratory therapy and additional nurse station monitors. In the future, some of the rooms will be able to offer patients who need dialysis the capability of doing so from the comfort of their beds.

Also in the future, six of the rooms will have the ability to be converted into Neonatal Intensive Care Unit rooms. As a result, the unit will incorporate NICU design features such as a family transition room, lactation room and separate entrances to the NICU section of the unit.

“The design of this unit is extremely family friendly,” said Erica Ventura, one of three patient care managers in the PICU. “From the patient rooms to the nursing stations, everything is being constructed with the patient and the medical staff in mind.”

Karen Sripan, assistant clinical director of the PICU, agreed and said the planning and design of the PICU expansion has been going on since March 2016 and was comprehensive.

“We were very thoughtful in our design and engaged staff throughout the entire process,” Sripan said. “We also were mindful of ensuring room design consistency with the Woodlands PICU so that the layout of the rooms are familiar to staff and providers working at both campuses.

PICU Medical Director Dr. Matthew Pesek said he is very excited about the expansion and working in a space that is so geared toward patients, families and medical staff.

“Our staff will have a lot more mobility due to the large size of the patient rooms and families will have a lot more privacy,” Pesek said. “These two things alone will go a long way.”

The PICU expansion is the last project funded by a $50 million capital improvement effort that aimed at growing West Campus’ capacity and capability. To date the following projects have been completed:

  • Additional office and administrative support space for dedicated physicians and providers
  • An 18-bed expansion of the hospital’s acute care capacity, including a special isolation unit designed for children with highly contagious infectious diseases
  • Conversion of offices within ambulatory clinics into additional exam rooms to increase outpatient subspecialty access
  • A dedicated suite for Interventional Radiology service
  • A new 14 exam room clinic for Neurology, Renal & Dermatology

“Since the hospital opened in 2010, West Campus has continued to grow along with its surrounding communities,” said West Campus Assistant Vice President Sara Montenegro. “Texas Children’s is committed to continuing this growth and support of our patients and families in West Houston.”