Akron Children’s announces plans for Mahoning Valley's only dedicated pediatric surgery department


BOARDMAN, Ohio (June 16, 2010)—Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley has begun a $7 million construction project to create the area’s only dedicated pediatric surgery department.

“Providing pediatric surgical services is an extension of the commitment we made to the Valley’s children and their families when we opened the hospital in 2008,” said Mark Watson, president of Akron Children’s Hospital Regional Network. “Physicians throughout the area have told us that this is something that was needed and we’re responding to the need.”

The project includes the renovation of nearly 14,000 square feet of space in Building B of the Beeghly Campus, located at 6505 Market St. in Boardman.

The primary focuses will be modern surgical suites and a renovated sterile processing center. The renovation will include an eight-bed patient recovery area (PACU), nursing stations, patient preparation area, waiting room, changing rooms, staff lounge and lockers.

“The surgical team will include pediatric anesthesiologists, specialty surgeons and nurses who understand the unique medical needs and concerns of children and their families,” said Sharon Hrina, vice president of Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley. "Knowing how children are medically different and having specialized training with equipment and techniques suited to a child helps ensure the best outcome for the patient."

A child life specialist will also play an important role in preparing children and families for surgery, providing pre-surgery tours to educate them about what they can expect to see, hear, feel, taste and smell.

“Children require far more emotional preparation for a surgery than most adults and are much more easily confused by the information provided,” Hrina said. “Because kids view surgery so differently than adults, a child life specialist is instrumental in educating families and easing anxiety for children prior to surgery.”

Procedures will include orthopedic, dental, urological and those related to ear, nose and throat.

The contractor for the project is Murphy Contracting Co. of Youngstown. The project is slated for completion in September and anticipated opening in October.

Funding for the project will come from a combination of capital dollars and philanthropic support.

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