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Construction Update Blog - Week of January 23

A Week of Anniversaries

This week was a week of anniversaries with the South Wing and one department moving into the new space.  On January 18, 2007, our design planning group set off on our trip to the northwestern portion of the United States to see three of the thirteen hospitals we would eventually visit during the planning stages for the South Wing.  Five years has passed so quickly that it seems like just yesterday that we were at Children's Hospital Colorado, located in Aurora/Denver.  Today, we have an almost-completed project, both on time and under budget.  It feels really good.

This week, we also started our move tours, to get the departments thinking about their move processes.  We started with Audiology, led by Patti Martin, PhD.  She's been at ACH since 1985, so she's seen a lot of changes over the years.  Even though I've been here for almost 12 years, this makes me feel like I haven't been here very long.  Heck, in 1985 I was a high school student mostly worried about my Friday night majorette performance!  (What's really cool is that Patti was a majorette, too.  There are several of us here at ACH, and we like to reminisce about the good ol' days!)

Patti is the director of the Speech and Audiology department, serving many thousands of patients and families over the years.  She has often told me how cool it is to see some of their patients who came here as infants, now grown teenagers, who are so thankful for the services the Speech and Audiology staff have provided to help them.  She and her team, like everyone moving into the South Wing, are extremely excited and proud of their new spaces.

Patti wrote a note this morning that I thought I would share.  She wrote:

On January. 20, twenty-two years ago today, we moved in to the current audiology/speech space.  Yesterday (January 19), as I took the first fifteen of my folks through the new South Wing, I could only be thankful for the opportunities that ACH has given those of us who are passionate about communication disorders and improving the quality of life for these kids and families. We have an amazing team in place and I am SO EXCITED about the phenomenal facility that we are so fortunate to be acquiring!  Today just seemed like the perfect day to reflect on that!

How cool it is to see these departments grow, and how cool it is to see some of the long-term ACH employees be here for this new exciting time in the growth of our campus!  For some like Patti, who were here in the early to mid-1980s, they have seen the openings of our Sturgis Building, which houses clinics and our laboratory, our West Wing, which houses the current CVICU, NICU, and some clinics, as well as the major expansion to the Main Hospital's Friday Tower, where the majority of the inpatient units are at present.  Some of those units, such as the Hematology-Oncology Unit, are moving to new digs in the South Wing.  So, some of these long-term employees have, in essence, seen two generations of new units in their time at ACH.

The architects, engineers, construction team, and Facilities are certainly excited as well, as this building has been five years of design in the making!  June 29, 2012 marks the first day of moves into the South Wing.  We start with Audiology.  After Patti's note this morning, I find that most appropriate!

Lori Howard
Director of Facilities Planning
Arkansas Children's Hospital
Arkansas Children's Hospital
1 Children's Way
Little Rock, AR 72202-3591

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