In 2012, one out of every six discharges from U.S. hospitals was for children aged 17 or under. In Plano, Children’s Health sees over 50,000 patients each year, just in their emergency room. At any age, the thought of having to go to the hospital is dreadful, however, for the past 10 years, Children’s Health has been committed to making the experience less daunting for younger patients.
Children’s Health sits on 155 acres of land, which originally belonged to the Haggard family. They offer various services to help infants, juveniles and adolescents to heal and recover from injuries, illnesses or ailments.
“Making life better for children is something you can wake up every morning and feel passionate about,” says Jeremiah Radandt, EVP of for the Northern Market for Children’s Health. “Everybody who works here loves taking care of kids. Every provider that the kids interact with is someone who knows how to care for kids and make them feel comfortable.”
While no parent ever wants to have to put their child in the hospital, they know that their children are in good hands at Children’s Health. Children’s well-trained team of “child life specialists” work day and night to be sources of comfort and joy to patients.
One of the most beloved amenities of the Children’s Health Plano facility is a 100-year-old oak tree called “The Story Tree.”
“We inherited the tree when we purchased the land,” says Amanda Gibbs, Director of Campus Development. “It’s therapeutic to our patients. It’s always been a place where children have just gathered to tell and hear stories.”
Children’s Health offers a multitude of services, including music therapy. There is also a garden on site, in which the Plano Garden Club works with the children in the eating disorder program to help them learn about nutrition and how to make healthy eating choices.
With the holidays nigh, Children’s Health is working to make sure that while their patients may not be able to spend the holidays at home, they will still have a pleasant and happy experience in the hospital.
“We have a Christmas market in the hospital,” Radandt says. “Parents can come and pick out gifts for their children and the gifts will be delivered on Christmas day. No one really wants to spend Christmas in the hospital, but things like this will make their visit memorable.”
The hallways at Children’s Health are painted with warm, inviting pastel colors. The yellows and blues evoke a comforting feeling, in a way that makes one almost forget that they’re in a hospital. The rooms contain large glass windows, allowing the patients a view of the garden, the city, and the wild horses. In the waiting rooms are several interactive games, including a touchscreen pad, which the children can walk upon a simulation of waterlilies in a pond.
Last year, Children’s Health opened Specialty Center 2, a 200,000 square-foot sports and physical therapy centered facility. Specialty Center 2 houses Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, a group of multidisciplinary experts who aim to greatly reduce the number of children getting injured. The Andrews Institute has also teamed up with EXOS, creating a sports performance program that takes a whole body approach.
The facility offers state-of-the-art sports amenities, including an underwater treadmill, a gymnasium, and an outdoor football practice facility. Specialty Center 2 also houses the Children’s Imaging Center, the Live Oak Surgery Center, and two floors dedicated to community office space, for medical professionals who want to open practices on site.
After ten years of serving the community, Children’s Health hopes to continue to provide care to Collin County residents and to people from other parts of the country.
“This is one of the best places for children’s healthcare in the country,” Radandt says. “We have people coming from various parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana to come here for their care, and hopefully, that will continue to grow.”