Published on December 31, 2018

Newly Remodeled Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Helps Youngest Patients Heal

Private room in pediatric intensive care unit.

While no parent would ever want to have their child in a pediatric intensive care unit, it’s the best place to help them heal when children are acutely ill. The Essentia Health Children’s Hospital at St. Mary’s Medical Center has the only pediatric intensive care unit in the region and it’s the only Level II Pediatric Trauma Center north of the Twin Cities. Now, the PICU, as it’s called, has been updated to help patients heal.

“Our surroundings were not up to date, they were neat and tidy, but outdated,” says Dr. Megan Browning, director of the PICU. “It’s nice now to be able to bring the surroundings in step with the care we deliver.”

The PICU has six rooms and seven beds. One room has two beds and another has a foldable door so it can be expanded to accommodate lifesaving, yet bulky, equipment, if needed. The Essentia Health Foundation funded a large portion of the $850,000 project.

“The gift to the PICU of $165,341 was made possible by the generosity of donors from the Essentia Health Foundation. One hundred percent of funds donated to the Essentia Health Foundation supports our patient-centered mission,” says Derek Groves, the Foundation’s chief development officer. “This gift represents how donors from our community come alongside us to help make a healthy difference in people’s lives,” adds Foundation Marketing Specialist Natalie Harris.

Nursing Director Amy Renier, who has worked in the PICU for many years, says patients and families can see and feel the difference private rooms and a quiet, healing atmosphere provide.

“A returning patient recently came in and commented that it was so wonderful,” she says. “Much more private than it used to be.”

Along with private rooms, the PICU has remote workstations for staff and new monitors in all of the rooms. LHB, Inc. designed the space and Ray Riihiluoma Construction served as general contractor.

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