VALHALLA, N.Y., April 26, 2022-Blythedale Children’s Hospital held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, April 22 to mark the official opening of the new Milton Spahn Therapy Village, as well as a new Simulation Lab and Parent Training Center.

The newly renovated and expanded 5,000-square-foot center for physical and occupational therapy incorporates the latest advances in rehabilitation medicine and state-of-the-art technologies to promote recovery for the more than 170 children, and 50 therapists, who use it daily. The new Simulation Lab comprises high-tech spaces that replicate bedside and home environments where parents learn how to care for their medically fragile child in a supportive, controlled environment, in preparation of their discharge home. 

“These improvements impact our ability to deliver quality care, they impact our ability to be efficient, and they also, I think, really speak to the dignity that we want to provide to our patients, our families, and to our staff," said Blythedale Board Chair Scott Levy during the ceremony. "The thing that won’t change with this new space is the way Blythedale staff and administrators work together with patients and their families, and that’s the magic that has always been present.”

Physical and Occupational Therapists work with a patient in the new Milton Spahn Therapy Village

The expansion of these two new spaces was part of a $27 million capital project that began in the fall of 2020. Other facets of “Phase 4” construction include an expanded and modernized pharmacy, administrative office suite, Assistive Technology workshop, and the addition of eight new beds to the Traumatic Brain Injury Unit.

“Since 2009, Blythedale has invested $150 million in facilities, patient care technology, and infrastructure to match the outstanding care provided to medically complex patients and their families," said Blythedale President & CEO Larry Levine. "Because of our meticulous financial discipline and stewardship, combined with our generous donors, we have been able to completely transform the hospital without incurring significant debt. And to have completed this most recent phase with minimal disruption during a global pandemic speaks volumes about our project partners.” 

Chief Nursing Officer, Jill Wegener, provides a tour of the new Simulation Lab and Parent Training Center 

The project partners include E4H Environments for Health Architecture, and Lendlease, who designed every space of the master facility plan and oversaw all construction, respectively. 

“We are incredibly proud to celebrate the completion of The Therapy Village and Simulation Lab as our latest project with Blythedale Children’s Hospital, which we have enjoyed a productive partnership with over the last 14 years,” said Richard Steimel, senior vice president and principal in charge, healthcare, at Lendlease. “Construction work in an active health care environment always entails careful planning to minimize disruption, and in this case, with work starting in 2020, we were also implementing extra precautions around COVID that required an added level of coordination and staggered scheduling. That adds to the gratification of completing this project on time and the reward our team feels seeing these innovative spaces now in use, benefitting sick children and the talented BCH staff that care for them.” 

Attendees of the ribbon cutting view the new multi-sensory room that is part of the Milton Spahn Therapy Village. 

“We are so pleased to see the completion of this latest project for Blythedale,” said Jennifer Arbuckle, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, partner at E4H. “We know that every space we work on with Blythedale makes a tremendous difference in the lives of so many families and that inspires us to design spaces that help nurture and heal their patients. We are honored to be part of their team.”