Fort Worth, TX,
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Intensive Care Unit Grows into New Space in Prosper

Cook Children's Medical Center -- Prosper moves PICU to hospital's second floor.

By Jean Yaeger

The 10-bed pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Cook Children’s Medical Center – Prosper has moved to its long-term location on the hospital’s second floor.

Previously, the PICU had been temporarily situated on the fifth floor since the medical center opened its doors Jan. 9, 2023. On the facility's one-year anniversary Tuesday, the PICU moved into a new space specifically built to care for the hospital’s sickest patients and their families.

Kevin Greene, vice president and administrator at Cook Children’s Medical Center – Prosper, said the new PICU occupies 26,021 square feet on the second floor. That area was an empty shell when the medical center opened a year ago. Nine additional months of construction went into the new PICU, which is strategically positioned near the operating rooms and infusion center.

It’s an intentional approach to completing the medical center in ways that most efficiently respond to the needs of the community. Beautiful as well as high tech, the new PICU reflects the investment by Cook Children’s to bring world-class pediatric health care to the booming population on the north side of the Metroplex, Greene said.DSC09168

“This is another example of Cook Children’s commitment to our families in Prosper and throughout the northern region,” he said. “We want to make sure that when our families need us most, that we’re continuing to expand and to bring more resources here so they don’t have to travel far from their homes for great care.”

The PICU is where patients go for treatment of life-threatening injuries or illnesses.  The new unit in Prosper features state-of-the-art medical services. But the layout also places a high priority on providing a comfortable experience for families.

Sheralyn Hartline, assistant vice president for Nursing and Patient Care, said the PICU’s attractive design creates a feeling of calm refuge. Amenities include a lounge, laundry facilities, food storage, and showers in private bathrooms attached to every patient room. Parents can grab a bite to eat or take a shower without leaving the unit. 

“Cook Children’s is very big into aesthetics and making things feel as homey as possible for the families,” Hartline said. “No one wants to be in the PICU. But if you have to be, let’s try to make it the best we can for you and your family.”

Making the Move   

It took months of planning to map out the logistics of safely transporting PICU patients in their beds from the fifth floor to the second floor. The move required good communication and extra support from nurses, physicians and departments across the medical center. 

The process was coordinated in stages, Hartline said, taking into account the monitors, ventilators and other vital equipment for each patient. Another key factor? Getting the right supplies to the new location. At the PICU’s previous site on the fifth floor, supplies came from carts shared with the Medical-Surgical unit. 

The PICU connects to the operating rooms and infusion center by a hallway now instead of an elevator ride. That means transitions will be faster for patients who require intensive care following surgery or an adverse reaction to an infusion, said Kathy Ramsey, D.O., medical director of the PICU in Prosper.  

“We get a lot of post-op surgical patients, and so it’s very thoughtfully planned,” Dr. Ramsey said. DSC09192

The setup includes physician sleep rooms in close proximity to the patients. Nooks were built so that physicians could write notes and consult with one another privately rather than in shared offices.

Meanwhile, back on the fifth floor, the Medical-Surgical unit will expand into the vacancy left by the PICU’s move. Medical-Surgical now has room for 10 additional beds, for a total of 24, to keep up with higher patient volumes.

The leadership team had anticipated from the beginning that the facilities and services would need to expand to meet the projected population growth in Collin and Denton counties and surrounding areas. That’s why several floors originally contained open shell spaces that could be outfitted later for specific purposes. Having the empty shells created the flexibility to tailor the building utilization based on data trends. Much like the PICU’s buildout and relocation, future projects are underway or in the planning stages.  

Treating the Sickest Patients

The PICU serves children of all ages, from babies to teens. Families can expect a team of experts on site in the PICU at all hours of the day and night. Here are a few more PICU facts:DSC09233

  • Staff includes Intensivists, nurses, patient care technicians, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and chaplains. Cardiologists, neurologists, pulmonologists, oncologists and other specialists are available for consultation. 
  • During the surge in respiratory illnesses last fall and into the winter months, the Prosper PICU was full for the first time.
  • Cook Children’s Teddy Bear Transport brings critically ill patients to the PICU via ambulance, helicopter and airplane. 

The Cook Children’s presence in Prosper dates back to 2019 with the opening of an urgent care center and several primary care offices, followed by a medical office building and outpatient surgery center in 2020. The campus now encompasses 35 acres. As part of an integrated health care system, doctors in Prosper have the capability to video conference with their colleagues at Cook Children’s Medical Center – Fort Worth.  

Moving the PICU to its long-term home is an exciting chapter in our young story and another great example of our Promise in action, Greene said.

About Cook Children’sUS News & World report

Cook Children’s is more than a health care system: we strive to be an extension of your family, growing with your child from their first steps to adulthood. By collaborating to deliver on our Promise—to improve the well-being of every child in our care and our communities, we connect the dots for our patients. Between primary and specialty. Between home and medical home. Between short-term care and long-term health.

Based in Fort Worth, Texas, we’re 8,000+ dedicated team members strong, passionately caring for over 1.5 million patient encounters each year. Our integrated, not-for-profit organization spans two medical centers (including our new, state-of-the-art location in Prosper), two surgery centers, a physician network, home health services and a health plan. It also includes Child Study Center at Cook Children's, Cook Children's Health Services Inc., and Cook Children's Health Foundation. 

And our impact extends beyond the borders of Texas. We proudly treat children from virtually every state in the nation and 32 countries. By seeing the world through the eyes of children and their families from all backgrounds, we’re able to shape health care suited to them: connected by kindness, imagination and respect—with an extra dose of magical wonder.

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