As we complete the skybridge connecting our Building Hope expansion to rest of the hospital, certain spaces in the existing building must temporarily close as the skybridge is punched through on five levels. That includes part of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) containing seven beds. The problem is we can’t take so many beds out of service – not even temporarily – because the entire region depends on the PICU to care for kids who are fighting for their lives. The solution: move six beds into a new area dubbed PICU East.

PICU East will open Oct. 15. It’s located on the same floor as the existing PICU (level four) and will be similarly staffed and equipped. The space was formerly occupied by the Outpatient Procedure Center (OPC). We’re now performing outpatient procedures elsewhere in the hospital.

The existing PICU will regain two beds in February. All PICU beds will move to Building Hope when it opens in spring 2013 and we will maintain an overflow unit in the existing building.

Our Facilities Department worked closely with the state Department of Health to receive approval to create PICU East. As we move forward, we’re proud of the hard work put in by Facilities, OPC, PICU and other hospital staff to make sure patients and families continue to get the care they need.