Our Healing Environment

When your child needs a hospital, everything matters. Years of careful planning paved the way.

There are thousands of moving parts involved in opening a new main hospital. More than 8,000 tasks to be precise. We started planning our move-in day more than two years out, because where our staff and patients are concerned, nothing could be left to chance.

From measuring the seconds it took to get between a trauma suite and surgery, to arranging extra trash pickup after new equipment deliveries, and the location of the pharmacies, no detail was too small or too large. We also did more than 20,000 hours of orientation and training, so on opening day back in 2012, patient care was not disrupted.

It was about considering all pieces of the facility. From how our patients and families felt walking through the front door to our employees access to information to our entire community wanting to be a part of Livingston Park.  We partnered with all our stakeholders and anyone impacted by what we were going to do.

We Considered Our Employees and Patient Families' Insights to Design Nationwide Children's Hospital

Not every expansion project takes into consideration the opinions of those who will be utilizing its space, but we did. Opinions mattered from our experts; our leaders in our hospital, in the industry and who would use it the most.

Through building mock rooms, we gathered thoughts on what works best for our main hospital interiors. Take, for instance, our nurses’ stations.

We made more than 100 changes to it, with the help of suggestions from our nursing staff. Some people may be surprised at the level of attention paid to just one aspect of our main hospital. And we made the appropriate changes, so there wouldn’t be a need to fix it later.

We also reached out to our patient’s families because it wasn’t enough to choose a comfortable couch. Our team’s designers insisted on sleeping on one before they would approve it. In fact, all of our patient rooms were designed with the entire family in mind. So now, when parents need to spend the night with their child, they’ll get a good night’s sleep, right in their child’s room.

By choosing functional furniture options that are also the most comfortable, we let our commitment to our families guide our decision-making.

We tested everything. And then, we tested it again. The couches, chairs, and even the bathtubs in the patient rooms, are like none other on the market. They have been customized to suit the needs of our patients, our families and our staff. And with good reason.

Getting it right the first time means we won’t need to buy replacements earlier than necessary. Quality pieces not only last longer, but also provide the most comfortable environment for our families. And that’s what matters.

How We Developed Our Navigation or Wayfinding Paths
Wayfinding at Nationwide Children's

Families navigate the city, the state, the country, and sometimes even the globe, to make their way to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Once they get here, we owe it to them to find their way to their room, to clinics, to the coffee shop, with ease.

Our wayfinding system is simply an extension of our advocacy for health and healing. Families follow a clear, uplifting path that promotes wellness by easing stress, anxiety and fear. And because we’re using color to break the language barrier, we’ll help our non-English speaking families feel more comfortable from the moment they arrive.

With each pathway denoted by color and our new animal friends art, and each destination designated by splashes of foliage, families will find their way quickly, effortlessly and efficiently. So the healing can begin.

Research Facilities

From cascades of natural light to laboratories designed for collaboration, every detail has been considered in the construction of our research facilities.

In the past fifteen years, we’ve more than doubled the number of investigators at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. And we are meeting the increased demand by adding a fourth research building to what is already one of the largest pediatric health facilities in the country. 

Our ideas don’t just get noticed, they get funded. 

Despite often difficult economic conditions, our external funding, from sources other than Nationwide Children’s, has increased steadily for several years. We are ranked in the top 10 for National Institutes of Health funding among free-standing children’s hospitals – further proof that there is real quality in our ideas. And confidence in our ability to improve lives.

The History of Our Animal Friends
Animal Friends

We know nature has a powerful effect on healing. It is just one reason why we brought nature’s animals inside. Our animal friends play a key role throughout the main hospital. Each patient level features a unique, hand-carved animal friend designed to entertain patients and provide a positive distraction.

Our animal friends aren’t just small touches that complement the art on our walls. They’re six-foot tall, wooden wonders designed to entertain patients. They’re the type of animals that can be found in the park just beyond the hospital’s front doors. And they’re a positive distraction, allowing children to exercise their curiosity, while encouraging families to forget where they are for a moment. And that’s what’s important to us. Helping kids get back to just being kids, and making everyone who visits feel more at home. 

So where did we find these wonderful creatures? Right here, in Ohio. There was no need to look farther than Mansfield to find these enchanting structures, handcrafted by world-renown carousel carvers. And they got it. They know the joy that their creations bring. And why not spread joy in a place where everything matters?

Why Are Butterflies Ambassadors for Nationwide Children's Hospital?

Butterfly GustIn healing environments, research has shown that images of butterflies and objects in flight promote feelings of hope and optimism.  This makes perfect sense; who can look at a butterfly or the first robin of springtime and not smile?  They are beautiful, resilient and they represent emergence against all odds.
When you visit any Nationwide Children’s location, you will see butterflies, birds and objects from nature in flight. They are breathtaking and playful but have an important purpose – to help children and families relax and find comfort during times of stress.