Legacy Tower remains busy two months after historic patient move

July 24, 2018

It’s been two months since Texas Children’s Legacy Tower opened its doors for the first time to care for our most critically ill patients. Since May 22, 2018, our critical care, surgical and radiology teams have been extremely busy.

“We’ve seen over 300 ICU patients since we moved into Legacy Tower so the space is being well used,” said Shannon Holland, director of Nursing for critical care services. “We’re excited that our patients are getting the care they need in the place they need it with a lot of family amenities that they didn’t have in West Tower.”

Besides caring for patients in the pediatric intensive care and transitional care units, our surgical teams have been hard at work. Between May and June, the hospital’s surgical volumes have tripled. Approximately 330 surgeries have been performed since Legacy Tower opened, which equates to about 1,400 surgical hours.

“The first two days, we had a few rooms open, but since then, every room is full almost all day,” said Janet Winebar, assistant vice president of Perioperative Services. “We’ve seen a real change in the intraoperative MRI cases since the MRI is located completely adjacent to the operating room, resulting in more efficient delivery of care. Prior to this, we had to transport patients down to the MRI suite on a different floor and then back to the operating room.”

While being in the intensive care unit can be tough on patients and their families, many of them are giving the design of Legacy Tower a thumbs up. Patient families have expressed how comfortable they are in their new, much larger spaces, and how warm and inviting the new amenities and environment offer them.

“To have an ICU that has a comfortable bed and you never have to leave your kid’s side is really important,” said Clare Bensh. “For a baby who sadly has never been outside, it’s at least the next best thing to turn her around in the bed and she can have a lot of natural light. I think it’s a better environment for her to thrive in.”

Dr. Frank Gerow, an orthopedic surgeon and one of the leaders for the Legacy Tower project, credits our team’s steadfast dedication to the success of the phase one opening of Legacy Tower.

“The reason this whole process has come off as flawlessly as it has is because of the expertise and the experience that the directors, the executives and that the staff to this hospital bring,” Gerow said. “They’re the reason this has worked as well as it has.”

Meanwhile, excitement is building once again. In less than 60 days, the second phase of Legacy Tower will open.

On September 25, Texas Children’s Heart Center®, ranked No. 1 in the nation for cardiology and heart surgery, will move into Legacy Tower. The Heart Center will occupy eight floors and will feature four cardiac catheterization labs including integrated MRI scanner, four cardiovascular operating rooms, three cardiovascular ICU floors with 48 private rooms, two cardiac acute care floors with 42 private patient rooms, and a dedicated space for families.

“The Heart Center staff is very excited,” Winebar said. “They are collaborating together across disciplines from the CVOR to the CVICU and cardiology, to ensure we make this space work to benefit our patients and their families.”