Medical Center Celebrates First Anniversary in Prosper
Cook Children's delivers medical excellence and moments of magic in debut year at Medical Center -- Prosper.
By Jean Yaeger
The landscape of pediatric health care services in North Texas changed on Jan. 9, 2023, when Cook Children’s Medical Center – Prosper opened its doors to offer emergency care, surgery and other crucial hospital services.
Over the past year, thousands of babies, children and teens from across the northern region of North Texas have been able to stay closer to home while receiving the same high-quality care that Cook Children’s has long provided at our Fort Worth medical center. The new facility in Prosper – with innovative technology, whimsical décor and the signature Blue Peaks – brought a more convenient location to families in the rapidly growing northern region of the Metroplex.
The first year at the medical center was a period of excitement and growth. The facility opened on Jan. 9, 2023, with 24 inpatient beds; by fall 2024, plans are underway to double its capacity in order to be ready to care for more families as the region’s population continues to boom. To make sure the campus is best positioned to grow with the needs of the region, the system purchased an additional 12 acres, increasing the total size of the campus from 23 acres to 35 acres.
“What a whirlwind year it's been! Caring for the precious children of Prosper and the surrounding communities has filled us with immense joy and purpose,” said Rick W. Merrill, president and CEO of Cook Children’s Health Care System. “The warm embrace from the community is a most cherished milestone in this journey. Your trust in us is an honor we hold close.”
Nancy Cychol, Executive Vice President & Chief of Hospital Services for Cook Children’s, gave credit to a workforce that fosters an atmosphere of kindness and collaboration toward a common goal: Everything for the child.
“Achieving accreditation from the Joint Commission within 50 days of opening in Prosper is a testament to our dedicated team's unwavering commitment,” Cychol said. “As we continue to grow and expand, we pledge to be here for your children at every step.”
Tony Anani, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and gastroenterologist at Cook Children’s Medical Center – Prosper, said the first year of operation brought rewards and challenges. By adding specialized services along the way, he said, the hospital was able to handle more patients with complex needs, rather than transporting them elsewhere. Neighbors in and around Prosper were welcoming.
“Thank you for the trust, thank you for the feedback, thank you for the patience, and thank you for the partnership as we continue to bring world-class care and the Cook Children’s culture to this area,” Dr. Anani said.
Sheralyn Hartline, assistant vice president for Nursing and Patient Care, predicted that the second year will also bring great progress in the medical center’s clinical capabilities.
“The staff have been amazing at identifying change opportunities and being flexible while making adjustments,” Hartline said. “We are very excited to be able to keep these patients in their community and provide them the high-quality care that Cook Children’s offers.”
The medical center’s first anniversary today is a happy occasion to revisit the building’s spectacular design and the dedication of the staff. Let’s take a look back -- and then preview some of what Cook Children’s is planning as we deliver on the Promise to improve the health and wellbeing of every child in our community.
Laying a Foundation
Cook Children’s set down roots in Prosper in 2019 with an urgent care and primary care clinic, followed by a medical office building and outpatient surgery center in 2020. From 2019 to 2022, Cook Children’s primary care network grew from 13 providers to more than 43 providers becoming the largest pediatric primary care network on the eastern side of the Metroplex. When the medical center came on the scene in 2023, it enhanced the existing services by adding an emergency department; surgery and procedure rooms; outpatient infusion center; imaging services; a retail pharmacy; medical-surgical and pediatric intensive care beds; lab services; and two floors of shell space.
Kevin Greene, vice president and administrator, Cook Children’s Medical Center – Prosper, said the design of the campus is the first of its kind in the region as it allowed families to have access to a full complement of outpatient, emergent and inpatient services on one campus. Designing the campus in such a way has allowed our teams to help connect the dots for our families so that they can more easily access the appropriate services for their child’s needs.
“From our primary care and urgent care clinics, to our specialty clinics, outpatient surgery center and medical center, our families now have access to the full weight of Cook Children’s Health Care System close to home,” Greene said.
Here are a few highlights of the medical center:
- Playful features just inside the front doors have proven very popular with visitors of all ages. The atrium includes a digital wall, a ceiling mural of flying cows and twinkling lights, and a color-coded path on the floor that guides families to their destination.
- Each inpatient room includes a 65-inch television that syncs with personal devices for ordering food and for entertainment as well as medical consultations.
- Health technology advocates at the Peaks Tech Zone are on hand to assist with setting up medical devices and MyCookChildren’s accounts.
The building itself was intentionally designed with special touches that reduce the stress on parents and make our patients feel safe when receiving treatment for their injuries and illness. After 365 days, you can see more than ever the thought that went into making the patient and family experience a priority: Spacious and beautiful rooms, great food, ample parking and most of all … employees who love and support their patients. Greene said he has had families tell him how grateful they are that Cook Children’s came to Prosper and how their child didn’t want to leave because of how much they enjoy being here.
New services were implemented during the first year as needs arose. One of the most significant additions came seven months after opening when the medical center, in conjunction with Fort Worth’s neurology team, brought on continuous electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring. It’s a test that reads electrical activity in the brain so that seizure disorder can be detected and diagnosed. By providing this service, patients and families were now able to receive critical neurology services close to home.
Looking to the Future
The medical center's 10-bed emergency department will be expanding to 20 beds in 2024. Two operating rooms opened last year, with plans to add a third OR in 2024 and a fourth at a later date.
The hospital will continue to provide excellent care, while evaluating opportunities to bring on additional services that will allow for more complex patients to receive emergent and inpatient care in Prosper. The continued investment in our services and in our people will ensure that when our patients and families need us we’ll be ready, no matter the situation.
Teamwork and Gratitude
The Cook Children’s systemwide culture platform – the values of respect, safety, generosity, collaboration, imagination and kindness – set the tone for the Prosper medical center’s first year. The medical center had hired about 350 employees, most of them new to Cook Children’s. They came together and committed to the culture.
Greene gave credit to the vision of Mr. Merrill, the Cook Children’s Board of Directors and senior leadership who years ago recognized as a part of our Promise, the escalating need for pediatric health care services in the northern region.
“We all feel like we're a part of this journey together, and that we're creating the foundation for the next 100 years in Prosper,” he said. “From our outpatient clinics to the medical center, the team has done an amazing job providing world-class care and a one-of-a-kind experience. In doing so, our families have entrusted us to care for their most cherished gift, their child, and for that we are truly honored.”