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We made a promise to help all children, now and in the future.
At Cook Children's, we believe that all children deserve extraordinary, life-impacting care. The spaces, equipment and technology in our new South Tower are recent examples of how we do just that.
Cook Children's is constantly looking at the most efficient and effective ways to care for our patients and allocate our resources. The addition of the 350,000 square-foot tower will have a profound effect on how we care for the patients and families for generations to come. The new South Tower demonstrates the power of philanthropy in helping make possible the innovative care we are able to provide.
The South Tower houses a modernized Emergency Department and Lab. It also features larger operating rooms containing the latest technology and a new Heart Center and Behavioral Health Center so we can expand our current programs to better accommodate and treat our patients.
Our Emergency Department currently sees more than 120,000 patients a year. Until the expansion, this often meant wait times up to several hours during peak times, like flu season.
The newly renovated and expanded Nenetta Burton Carter Emergency Department, which opened in August 2016, is designed to lessen wait times for patients, allows for higher patient volumes and enhances the overall patient experience. It has all private exam rooms, as well as imaging capabilities and lab services which minimize the need to move patients and allows us to provide care more efficiently.
The operating rooms on the new surgical floor are integrated surgical suites with more advanced technology than was not previously possible due to size constraints in the older operating rooms. Patient electronic records and imaging and pathology reports are directly accessible in real time to surgeons in the operating room. This allows our surgeons to be more efficient and make more informed surgical plans.
Thanks to a generous gift from the Jane and John Justin Foundation, an intraoperative 3 Tesla MRI (iMRI) machine now occupies one of the new surgical suites on the second floor of the South Tower. With twice the magnetic power of our first iMRI, this advanced imaging technology enhances surgical procedures by displaying highly accurate, real-time digital images of the brain during surgery, which can reduce the need for future surgeries.
Like our current iMRI, the new iMRI allows our surgeons the opportunity to ensure the highest degree of accuracy while in the operating room. The 3 Tesla magnet has a proven record of increasing the success rates of surgical procedures. The anatomical definition provided by the new iMRI's imaging is far better and allows for more complete resections, thus leading to better patient outcomes.
The new Heart Center, which opened in March 2017, allows for all cardiology services to be located together. This includes all diagnostic testing areas, operating rooms, the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and cardiac step-down area.
Bringing these functions all together allows for improved patient outcomes and efficiencies in their treatments.
Patients in our new Heart Center will benefit from Cook Children's new 3-D aPPROaCH Lab. The Planning and Printing of Congenital Heart Disease (aPPROaCH) lab was funded by community donors and uses both 3-D virtual viewing and 3-D printing to help our cardiologists and surgeons better understand patients' heart defects and plan their treatments with utmost accuracy. Cook Children's is one of three pediatric medical centers in the U.S. to combine these advanced technologies.
The Rees-Jones Behavioral Health Center at Cook Children's opened in March 2017. Our staff cares for children experiencing behavioral, neurodevelopmental and emotional challenges, such as depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorders (ADD/ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders.
This new space provides four classrooms, each staffed by Fort Worth Independent School District educators, an indoor gym/recreational therapy area, a low stimulation wing to house autistic patients and an inpatient dayroom that can be used for family visitation, positive parent coaching, therapy dog visits, music therapy, psychodrama groups and other activities. And thanks to continued community support for our dog therapy program, a newly arrived therapy dog is serving these patients.
Over the past several years, we have experienced exponential growth in the demand for behavioral health services. This new center allows us to better serve this delicate patient population by uniting and expanding our inpatient psychiatric unit and partial hospitalization program.
Because both play and rest can be an integral part of the healing process, the front lawn of the South Tower is home to the Lowe Foundation Garden and a storybook playscape that was funded by Cook Children's employees through our Employees Care campaign.
Cook Children's is grateful to all of our donors for their vision and generosity. These important partnerships make it possible for our outstanding physicians and clinical staff to dream and innovate, to bring advanced technology to our community, and to deliver the family-centered care that is the hallmark of Cook Children's.
As we continue to grow, your help is more vital than ever in providing the life-saving equipment, program enhancements and the level of care that our patients and families deserve. We consider you a partner in our Promise.