On Thursday, October 5, Alexandra Cohen, President of the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, joined Kathleen Silard, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Office of the President at Stamford Health, to officially open the new Stamford Health Cohen Children’s Unit in the completely renovated space on the second floor of Stamford Health’s Whittingham Pavilion, located on the Bennett Medical Center Campus.
“Thanks to the long-standing support of Alex and Steve, we are able to not only continue their mission to provide exceptional care for children in a variety of communities – but also complete our vision to invest in leading mother-baby and pediatric services right here in Stamford,” said Silard.
Designed by the architects at EYP Health who helped create Stamford’s unique 650,000 square-foot hospital that opened last year, the Cohen Children’s Unit provides a similar environment for treating young patients while supporting the whole family, consistent with Stamford Health’s Planetree philosophy.
“Every child deserves access to the highest-quality care that is close to home and allows the family to stay together during a hospitalization,” said Alex Cohen, President of the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. “Steven and I are grateful to help create a unique facility that offers that to our community.”
Decorated with a whimsical “under the sea” theme featuring soothing nautical designs, ocean colors and bright fish, the unit includes 10 all-private patient rooms with individual bathrooms. Each room is designed with plenty of space to house the latest healthcare technology and to allow parents to work and stay overnight, if desired.
The new unit also includes an area for siblings to play, a kitchen, family lounge and a private consultation room. Four of the rooms are dedicated as the Herbert and Nell Singer Care Unit, and are located close to the care station so that staff can closely monitor patients with more complex needs or who may require a longer stay.
Children can also order from a special menu with kid-friendly food options and access games, internet and educational information via the GetWellNetwork.
The new unit also includes David’s Treasure Chest, the popular toy closet where any child admitted to the hospital can choose a gift to take home after their stay. Transferred from the old inpatient unit, David’s Treasure Chest is possible through both toy and monetary donations from local organizations, businesses, and the community. David’s Treasure Chest honors the memory of David Bennett Kanarek of Greenwich who, at the age of 15, lost his battle with leukemia in 2000.
“There are few, if any, community hospitals investing in pediatric-specific facilities today, and most resort to treating young patients in adult spaces,” said Gerald Rakos, MD, Chair, Department of Pediatrics and Medical Director of the Cohen Children’s Institute. “I was so pleased to share Alex and Steve’s vision to create a unique place that embraces our children and their families when they need it most.”
The Cohen Foundation has presented landmark gifts to several hospitals and organizations in the tri-state area, helping create state-of-the-art facilities for children and providing increased access to the highest-quality medical care for the community at large. This new inpatient unit is the latest addition to the Stamford Health Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children’s Institute. In 2014, the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation announced an additional contribution, providing a total of $20 million – the largest single donation in hospital history at that time – to create an institute offering unparalleled healthcare to children in the region.
The Cohen Children’s Institute offers unique pediatric care through a collaboration of highly trained pediatric experts in a variety of locations, including the new Cohen Children’s Unit, Cohen Children’s Specialty Center at Tully Health Center and the Cohen Pediatric Emergency Department at the new Stamford Hospital. The Cohen Pediatric Emergency Department is the first facility in the region led by a board certified Pediatric Emergency Medicine Director. Each room is appropriately equipped for all pediatric emergencies and is accessed from a separate child-friendly waiting room with a nautical theme and a fish tank.
Additionally, the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children’s Specialty Center continues to serve a vital role in providing specialized outpatient pediatric care for our region. Families no longer need to travel to New York or beyond for care. Stamford Health now has teams of specialists in fields that include in cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, genetics, neonatal infant clinical evaluation, neurology, neuropsychology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, pediatric surgery, pulmonology and pulmonology lab, radiology, rheumatology and spine surgery. More information can be found at the Stamford Health Cohen Children’s Institute page.