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Blythedale Opens New Day Hospital

12/3/2013
Pictured above, left to right: Left to right: Blythedale Day Hospital patients Mary, Sophia, Xohan and Gregory, are joined at the ribbon cutting by NYS Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, NYS Assemblyman David Buchwald, NYS Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins, Deputy Westchester County Executive Kevin Plunkett, Blythedale President & CEO Larry Levine, Blythedale Board Chair Owen Gutfreund, and NYS Assemblyman Steven Otis.

Blythedale Children’s Hospital, New York’s only specialty children’s hospital, opened its new $15 million Day Hospital and Early Childhood Center today. The 8,000 square-foot Day Hospital features new exam rooms, treatment areas, feeding therapy rooms, treatment bays, and a spacious audiology booth that can accommodate children in wheelchairs and stretchers. The newly renovated Early Childhood Center includes five refurbished classrooms to facilitate the program’s growth.

The new Day Hospital & Early Childhood Center – the second phase of a two-stage modernization plan – was custom-designed with the highest attention paid to the specific needs of medically fragile children.  Expanded treatment bays offer an improved layout, and greater flexibility in accommodating patients with wide-ranging complicated medical needs.

During the ceremony, Blythedale President & CEO Larry Levine shared the Hospital’s vision -- ten years in the making -- to build a new hospital that would incorporate inpatient programs and a day hospital, featuring the latest medical technology in a patient and family-centered environment.

"While today marks the successful conclusion of our decade-long building program, we look at today not as an end, but as a beginning,” said Levine. "Today we begin a new journey that will take us to serving more patients, developing new programs, and creating new services to meet the critical needs of infants, children and adolescents who desperately need Blythedale.”

Blythedale opened its new $65.3 million inpatient building in 2011. Last year, the Hospital opened the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for Speech and Audiology. These areas, along with the new Day Hospital and Early Childhood Center address significant shifts in the Hospital’s patient population over the past several decades and dramatically strengthen the Blythedale’s capacity to provide the most advanced care to medically fragile children in the New York metropolitan region.

Levine was joined at the podium by Blythedale Board Chair Owen Gutfreund, New York State Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins, NYS Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, NYS Assemblyman David Buchwald, NYS Assemblyman Steven Otis, and Deputy Westchester County Executive Kevin Plunkett.

Attendees also heard from Kim Zuzzolo, a parent who shared her daughter’s experience as a Day Hospital patient. 

"Mary’s disease is so rare, that she is one of only three known cases in the country,” Zuzzolo said. "For there to be a safe and happy place for Mary to spend her days, receive all of her therapies, have her medical needs met, and have her educational and socialization needs addressed, is the miracle we needed for our family.”

Blythedale Children’s Hospital treats more than 300 children daily through its inpatient and day hospital programs, making it one of the largest children's services in New York State. In addition, the Hospital provides diagnosis and treatment for hundreds of outpatients with a wide range of medical and rehabilitation needs. More than half of Blythedale’s patients are admitted directly from neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and pediatric intensive care units (PICUs).  The average length of stay at Blythedale is 36 days. Blythedale is also the only hospital in New York State with its own, on-site public school district, comprising grades pre-K through 12, and is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of its inpatients and day hospital patients.  The school will remain in its current location, attached to the original Blythedale building.

The new space is designed by MorrisSwitzer – Environments for Health, an architectural firm that specializes in healthcare facilities. Lend Lease was the construction manager for the project.
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Last year, 13-year-old Mathew was well-known as a baseball prodigy in the Little League