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Just Like Home: Children's Hospital Unit To Include TV, Rockers

Just Like Home: Children's Hospital Unit To Include TV, Rockers image
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U-M Children's Hospital: Dr. James L. Wilson (left), chairman of the University's department of pediatrics and communicable diseases, and Dr. Albert C. Kerlikowske, U-M Hospital director, examine an architect's model of how the Children's Hospital will look when completed. The left portion of the model is the existing psychiatric unit. The right portion, the pediatrics unit, which is in the advanced planning stage, will cost $6,700,000. Hospital dinners while watching Davy Crockett on television are in prospect for children hospitalized at the University. And there will be rocking chairs for parents to rock their children. These are included in U-M plans for the pediatrics unit of the Children's Hospital. When the unit is completed adjacent to the existing psychiatric unit of the Children's Hospital, it will give the state its most complete children's hospital center, providing treatment both for physical diseases and emotional disturbances, U-M officials say. Dietetics Director Miss Isabel Foster says, "Children will be encouraged to eat meals together in the gaily decorated dining rooms if they are physically able. "However, if we find that Johnny or Mary want their food served in bed or by the TV set, that will be arranged. Food and nutrition are vitally important to recuperating children. They are more apt to eat naturally if they can have what they want where they want it." The rocking chairs are planned to reassure the child's sense of security with his parents. Children require a very special type of care, emphasizing attention, consideration and affection, says Dr. James L. Wilson, chairman of the U-M department of pediatrics and communicable diseases. "The new Children's Hospital has been designed with this in mind. Our physical concerns include adequate space, flexibility, and a bright and happy home atmosphere," he continues. The 200-bed unit, which will be constructed at a cost of $6,700,000 will have the most modern up-to-date facilities available, including special equipment making it possible to televise surgical operations for medical education. Facilities on each floor will enable parents and visitors to stay near the child while special surgery or treatment is carried on. The hospital will have no closed areas in wards. All inner walls in patient areas will be glass to permit constant nursing supervision of the children. There will be playrooms on every floor. Motel-Like Units Hoped For It is hoped that eventually motel-like, living-in units, complete with kitchenettes, will be constructed making it possible for parents to give the child home-like care and attention while he is receiving hospital treatment. Actual construction date of the new hospital is in doubt. Although the University requested that the current Legislature provide more than a $1,000,000 to start construction during the 1957-58 academic year, Gov. Williams trimmed the request and asked the Legislature for $205,000 in order for the U-M to complete final plans. "Plans could be ready by June1 to let the contract and begin construction if funds are available," Dr. Roger B. Nelson, associate director of the U-M Hospital, says.