Sanford Childrens Hospital has moved out of the main building of Sanford USD Medical Center and into a fairy tale.
Calling itself a Castle of Care, the hospital building in Sioux Falls, S.D., does indeed look like a palace sprung to life from a Brothers Grimm story, and inside patients and visitors will find five levelseach depicting their own landwithin the castle theme. The vision was born out of a desire to build a stand-alone childrens hospital unique from a childs standpoint, says Pat OBrien, a physician who is president of the medical center. The quest the medical center embarked on was to make a place that feels safe and is welcoming to children, says Jan Haugen-Rogers, vice president of the childrens hospital.
At a final cost of $60 million, the 146-bed castle is the culmination of five years of design and development, done with input from the community, doctors, families, nurses, staff and others who would be working at or using the hospital, Haugen-Rogers says. It houses an updated pediatrics intensive-care unit, neonatal ICU, a specialty clinic, and laboratory, nutrition, pharmacy and rehabilitation services.
The hospital focuses on artwork and stories as healing therapysomething that comes across in the custom-designed tapestries, carvings, thrones, stained glass, paintings and illustrations, and wall murals. There is the Deep Blue Waters on the lower level up to the Enchanted Forest on the top floor, and throughout is woven a story, the Legend of Sanford Castle, which follows animal characters found in the different lands of the castle. The illustrated book is given to each child upon admission.