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Our Children's hospital opens this month

Upstate Medical Center's Golisano Children's Hospital starts formal operations Sept. 23

Every child wants a room of their own. But of course this isn't always affordable, necessary or practical. But when a child becomes seriously ill, and needs hospitalization, all this changes. A room of their own, or better yet, a room that can host that child's family, too, a is key ingredient to wellness. This is the basic premise behind the Golisano Children's Hospital (GCH) at Upstate Medical Center, which is set to open this month on Sept. 23.

"Family is integral to the care and healing of the child," said Dr. David Smith President of Upstate Medical Center.

Smith, a pediatrician, came to Upstate in 2006. Part of the draw for Smith and his wife Donna Bacchia, who is also a pediatrician, was the inclusion and construction of a state of the art children's hospital within the hospital.

Formerly Upstate had a 200 square foot room for two children. Now, it will have a 285 square foot room for one child.

It's a treehouse

Upstate Medical Associate Administrator Leola Rodgers said, essentially the children's hospital is the 11th and 12th floors of a new addition set on top of what is designed to mimic a tree house structure. Importantly, the new hospital within a hospital has its own entrance off Crouse Avenue.

"The treehouse includes a rapid transit system," Smith said.

On the treehouse's ground floor there is a clubhouse, where there is access to an inner yard or green space for taking fresh air. From there one can take either stairs or elevators up. The tree house also contains meeting rooms, relaxing rooms, a chapel and a library. Dr. Thomas Welch, Chairman of Pediatrics at Upstate and the Medical Director for the GCH said he hopes the community will take advantage of this space to engage in issues regarding children's health.

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