Someone To Watch Over Them

Illustration of the new MUSC Children’s Hospital with descriptions of each floor.

MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion is a healing place built for families, conceived and designed by families and care team members

by Shawn Oberrath

All children deserve the chance to grow up — and the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion aims to deliver just that chance for children in South Carolina and beyond.

The hospital was created with utmost consideration of the family’s experience. In a dedication ceremony held in August, MUSC Health CEO Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., stated, “When this facility opens its doors to patients, it will be the most patient- and family-centered and technologically advanced children’s hospital in the nation. What a blessing for the children and mothers of this state and a beacon of hope and progress for our counterparts as we lead the way in raising all standards of excellence for patient care.”

The family-centric features include an innovative floor for amenities, such as indoor and outdoor dining with magnificent views of the Ashley River, a large indoor atrium, and a 10,000-square-foot outdoor garden and play area that showcases a large movie screen and stage for special events. There is also a quiet zone outdoors and a chapel indoors for those seeking a contemplative atmosphere.

In addition to the amenity level, families requiring extended stays will have access to kitchens, showers and other conveniences, and there are play spaces and quiet areas on each patient floor.

The medical care offered at the children’s hospital extends to the state’s only level 1 pediatric trauma center and only level 4 NICU; the cardiology, surgical, and cancer expertise of MUSC Health specialists; and cutting-edge obstetrical teams for all facets of labor, delivery and postpartum care.

In the NICU, single-patient rooms replace the more traditional open bay design to allow for greater privacy and bonding for mothers and babies. Additionally, there are couplet care rooms with the infrastructure to support critical care of mothers and babies together.

The top level of the children’s hospital is designated for patients with cancer and blood disorders. Children with these illnesses often must spend weeks or months in the hospital; with that in mind, the rooms are larger, play spaces are steps away, and there are expansive, calming views to soothe both parents and children.

To round out the forethought that went into the design of the hospital, the rooftop is equipped with an advanced helipad — connected directly to the emergency department via express elevator — that can accommodate the Coast Guard’s Jayhawk helicopter to allow emergency and disaster responses.

Finally, smart room technology is integrated into all patient rooms, allowing for seamless communication between patient families and care team members. This technology and MUSC’s participation within the robust South Carolina Telehealth Alliance will continue and deepen the commitment to collaboration with pediatricians and other children’s hospitals throughout the state.

Ultimately, the care, innovation and coordination that led to the creation of the children’s hospital and women’s pavilion all serve the goals of success, health and opportunity to grow for all children in South Carolina.