2019 SPECIAL REPORT
The new state-of-the-art facility opens its doors to care for all children and infants
STUDER FAMILY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL President Will Condon Vice President for Patient Care Services Lisa Gardner Director of Community Relations & Children’s Programs Cat Ouzen
ROWLAND PUBLISHING CREATIVE, SALES & OPERATIONS Publisher Brian Rowland Vice President/Corporate Development McKenzie Burleigh Lohbeck Director of Production and Technology Daniel Vitter Custom Publishing Manager Sara Goldfarb Managing Editor Jeff Price Proofreader Melinda Lanigan Contributing Writers Pete Reinwald, Hannah Burke Publication Designer Lindsey Masterson
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The newly completed Studer Family Children’s Hospital is dedicated to the compassionate care of children, regardless of their parents’ ability to pay.
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
The Studers and the Watsons leave a lasting impact on Sacred Heart
NOW WAS THE TIME Children’s healthcare embraces the future in Pensacola and along the Emerald Coast
BY THE NUMBERS The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at a glance
PUTTING PATIENTS FIRST
New children’s hospital aims to make young patients feel comfortable
ON THE COVER:
For over five years, the Sacred Heart Foundation rallied a community
THEY ALL PLAYED A PART
CELEBRATING A SUCCESS STORY
Dedicated crew turned plans into reality
L E TT E R F ROM T H E
PRESIDENT Dear friends, I’d like to share with you an incredible story. It’s a story of care, courage and community. Most of all, it’s a story about our children. On May 4, Studer Family Children’s Hospital opened to an excited and grateful community that loves and takes care of its children. The four-story facility consolidates all inpatient pediatric care that had spread throughout the campus of Sacred Heart Hospital. It features state-of-the-art design and technology, including topof-the-line imaging equipment, plus amenities and services that focus on the care, needs and emotional well-being of children and their families. The hospital also includes 72 Level II and III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit rooms; 30 medical/surgical patient rooms; 14 observation beds for children who aren’t ready to go home; and 10 Pediatric Intensive Care Unit beds. We built the hospital entirely for children’s care. It’s 100 percent pediatric and 100 percent state-of-the-art. We built it with an emphasis on the present and an eye on the future. As we grow, we’ll be able to reconfigure the inside of the building and add additional floors. Our founders at Sacred Heart looked 20 to 30 years into the future and did so fabulously. We pledge to follow their lead.
We’ll never turn a child away. That policy affirms who we are: a nonprofit organization that cares for children as if they were our own and turns no child away, regardless of the family’s ability to pay. It’s a testament to nearly 11,724 donors who gave everything from one dollar to millions as we reached our $30 million goal ahead of time — an amazing feat that Pensacola had never seen. It’s a testament to the fundraisers and volunteers. It’s a testament to the workers who spent more than two years building the hospital. It’s a testament to Pensacola and the Northwest Florida region. It’s a testament to you. We hope you enjoy this special section on the incredible story of the Studer Family Children’s Hospital. We hope you read it as a celebration of what we built together. Sincerely,
President, Studer Family Children’s Hospital
2019 Special Report
NAMESAKE LEGACY THE STUDERS AND THE WATSONS LEAVE A LASTING IMPACT ON SACRED HEART by PETE REINWALD
o, Quint Studer says. A donation to an organization couldn’t possibly give him pride. “I don’t like the word ‘pride,’ ’’ he says. Studer, a Pensacola business leader and philanthropist, says the major gift that he and his wife gave to Ascension Sacred Heart’s new state-of-the-art children’s hospital in Pensacola, Florida, leaves him with gratitude. “I’m grateful — grateful for the opportunity to make a difference,” he says. The Studer Family Children’s Hospital is making a difference, providing top-of-the-line technology and visionary medical and emotional care for children and families of Pensacola and Northwest Florida. Officials at Ascension, one of the leading nonprofit healthcare systems in the U.S., hail the new children’s hospital as a testament to Pensacola and its donors, including its top investors: Quint and Rishy Studer, and professional golfer Bubba Watson and his wife, Angie. As a gesture for those gifts, the hospital carved the Studer and Watson names and legacies onto its new building and entrance road for patients, families and visitors to see. To get to the Studer Family Children’s Hospital, you must turn onto Bubba Watson Drive. The hospital’s address: 1 Bubba Watson Drive. The Studers and Watsons call themselves friends and Pensacola residents and supporters. They say they saw the Studer Family Children’s Hospital as a natural place to put their hearts and money. “I wanted to give to something that (will be) helping kids and families for years and years to come,” Bubba Watson told the Pensacola News Journal in 2017. “Our goal is to help every child have the best chance to succeed,” Quint Studer says. Studer says he and his wife remain uncomfortable having their name on the hospital and that they didn’t ask for that in return for their gift. But Susan Davis, the president and CEO of Sacred Heart Health System at the time of the Studers’ 4
Studer Family Children’s Hospital
Rishy and Quint Studer
donation, thought it would help spur fundraising, Studer says. Studer has been a leader and thinker in healthcare his entire adult life, including as founder of the Studer Group, president of Pensacola’s Baptist Hospital and past board chair of the Sacred Heart Health System. Leaders in healthcare and other industries trumpet one of his seven books, “Hardwiring Excellence: Purpose, Worthwhile Work, Making a Difference,” as an organizational guide to customer service and excellence. As somebody who knew the industry and numbers, Studer understands why a children’s hospital in a community of Pensacola’s size might not succeed. He calculated that the average children’s hospital in the United States serves a population of 1.4 million children. With a metropolitan statistical area population under 500,000, Pensacola didn’t come close to such a demand. Studer also observed that most children’s hospitals are attached to a large academic medical center. That’s not the case in Pensacola. Yet Davis, the Sacred Heart Health System CEO at the time, saw the need for a new Children’s Hospital that was larger and better able to provide more advanced, less fragmented care than the existing Children’s Hospital built 23 years ago. That building had reached its capacity in offering children’s health services, including intensive care. For a new hospital, Ascension committed $55 million to an $85 million fundraising goal in which $30 million would have to come from donors. Studer decided that he would help, he says, “because Susan Davis asked me. I have great respect for Susan. I just thought, ‘Could she really pull it off?’ ” In late March, Studer wrote in a guest column for the Pensacola News Journal in which he said: “I greatly underestimated Susan’s determination, Ascension’s commitment to this area and the generosity of the community … I am so happy I was wrong.” Empathy perhaps played a role in the Studers’ decision to give. In 1995, their youngest child, Michael, was seriously hurt on a camping trip in South Dakota and spent seven days in intensive care. Studer says he and Rishy spent virtually all their time at Michael’s side, with no place in the hospital to eat, rest, shower or spend time alone with their young daughter without feeling as though they were leaving their 8-year-old son. The hospital that bears the Studer name provides all the amenities and comforts that the South Dakota hospital lacked.
Bubba and Angie Watson with their children, Caleb and Dakota.
“They did the best they could, just like every adult hospital does,” Studer said of the facility that cared for Michael, who recovered. “But it’s not the same. If you’re in a children’s hospital, it’s a whole different ballgame.” When it comes to helping Pensacola, including its children, you’ll find “yes” in the Studers’ DNA. They’ve supported scholarship programs at the University of West Florida and Pensacola State College. Their donations and projects have helped create a vibrant downtown that includes The Bodacious Brew, a popular coffee shop and eatery that adjoins another of the Studers’ businesses, The Bodacious Olive. With the Studers’ help, downtown Pensacola also features a scenic waterfront baseball stadium that serves as home to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, a minor league baseball team owned by the Studers and the Watsons. Studer points to the mission and vision statements of the Studer Family of Companies, the umbrella entity of organizations including Studer Properties, the Studer Foundation, the Studer Community Institute and the Blue Wahoos: “to improve the quality of life for the people in the Pensacola Metro Area” and “to make the Pensacola Metro Area the greatest place to live in the world.” The Watsons share that vision. The Bubba Watson Foundation aims to “enhance the everyday lives of people in need with a particular emphasis on helping and inspiring children, young adults and those associated with the U.S. Military.”
Watson, a winner of two championships at The Masters, has pointed out that he and his sister were born at Sacred Heart Hospital and that his father underwent cancer treatments there. “In my business, winning a trophy is great,” Watson told Emerald Coast Magazine in 2017. “I do that, and on Sunday night, I’m a hero. But, as of Thursday morning, when the next tournament starts, people are looking for the next hero. So, you begin to ask yourself where you can best put your love and use your connections to provide for generations to come.” Watson and Studer have made their appreciation for each other known, yet Studer says the Watsons’ donations for the new hospital came without his influence. “This is completely Bubba and Angie on their own,” he says. Studer adds: “Bubba and Angie are very wonderful, loving human beings, and I think this is important to them.”
WHEN IT COMES TO HELPING PENSACOLA, INCLUDING ITS CHILDREN, YOU’LL FIND “YES” IN THE STUDERS’ DNA. 2019 Special Report
NOW WAS THE TIME
CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE EMBRACES THE FUTURE IN PENSACOLA AND ALONG THE EMERALD COAST by PETE REINWALD
Studer Family Children’s Hospital
he data said no way: The Pensacola area was not large enough to support a Children’s Hospital 50 years ago, and it still didn’t have the population to justify building a new children’s hospital. Only large metropolitan areas could support a children’s hospital, the data said. And only cities that count themselves as major academic centers could support a children’s hospital. Yet today, Pensacola says: Behold our brand new children’s hospital. “Nobody believed this hospital was ever going to come up,” said Will Condon, president of The Studer Family Children’s Hospital. But it’s up, and it’s open. The new Studer Family Children’s Hospital welcomed its first patients on May 4, more than five years after Ascension and Sacred Heart embarked on an ambitious plan to raise $30 million in
donations and build a state-of-the-art children’s healthcare facility. More than half of the funds came from Ascension, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit and Catholic health systems. The four-story, $85 million hospital represents the vision of Susan Davis, the former Sacred Heart CEO, who concluded that Sacred Heart Hospital needed a bigger and better space to care for children. Davis wanted a facility that offered the best in comfort and technology and had the ability to improve and expand the scope of specialized pediatric care across Northwest Florida and into South Alabama. The April 1 ribbon cutting came precisely 50 years after Sacred Heart, with inspiration from pediatricians Dr. Reed Bell and Dr. John Whitcomb, opened the city’s first facility dedicated to the care of infants and children. “Truly, every day is a gift for us to be able to
care for kids in this region,” said Condon.“We don’t take it lightly. We are very proud that pediatricians came to us 50 years ago asking us to care for children.” The new Children’s Hospital includes 126 beds and offers patient and family amenities that the previous Children’s Hospital couldn’t offer: bigger patient rooms for more privacy; a Ronald McDonald House family room where families can eat, sleep, relax and do laundry without feeling as though they’re leaving their child; and state-of-the-art technology. Hospital officials emphasize that the new facility puts a premium on the mental and physical well-being of children and families, from its colors and design to its doctors and staff. “You don’t just care for the patient,” said Condon. “You also care for the patient’s family. Any time a kid is in the hospital, it is a tense situation. So not only do our caregivers have to be very good at caring for the patient, they also have to be very good at educating and also caring for that family that’s worried.” Inspiration for the Children’s Hospital came more than five years ago. Sacred Heart Hospital had 55 beds in its neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, yet it consistently cared for about 60 babies. That meant increasingly cramped and uncomfortable spaces for children, families and staff. Officials first considered adding space to the building but saw long-term limits to that option.
Davis championed a grand idea: Build a new facility that would provide space for more children and bring all children’s healthcare services into one building. Pediatric care had spread throughout the Sacred Heart Hospital campus, with NICU units in two buildings and the operating room far from other children’s units and services, for example. Henry Stovall, former president of Sacred Heart Hospital, says Davis approached him in a 2015 meeting. “She pulled me out of the meeting, looked me in the eye and said, ‘We’re building a new children’s hospital,’ ” Stovall said. “I started laughing. I thought she was kidding.” She wasn’t. Ascension hired global design firm
HOSPITAL OFFICIALS EMPHASIZE THAT THE NEW FACILITY PUTS A PREMIUM ON THE MENTAL AND PHYSICAL WELL-BEING OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, FROM ITS COLORS AND DESIGN TO ITS DOCTORS AND STAFF.
2019 Special Report
HKS Architects, which had designed children’s hospitals, and got to work. Officials brought in staff, physicians, therapists, pharmacists and members of the hospital’s patient-family advisory council — the latter of which played an especially key role in the emphasis on care and consideration of children and their families. “All of those experiences,” Condon said, “those are what built this hospital.” Ascension committed $55 million to the project and asked for an additional $30 million from donors. The nonprofit organization touted it as the largest investment and largest communityfunded campaign in its 104 years. The Sacred Heart Foundation said it reached its $30 million goal weeks before the hospital opened. The Foundation says it will continue to raise money for the children’s hospital, including a $5 million campaign to expand the pediatric cancer center in the children’s hospital. “For a community to raise $30 million, it had never been done in Pensacola,” Condon said. “I mean, that’s unheard of.” The result: a facility that adjoins Sacred Heart
Studer Family Children’s Hospital
Hospital and includes a pediatric pharmacy, an inpatient rehabilitation gym and a pediatric imaging department, plus playrooms, themed interactive play stations, outdoor gardens and a family dining area. In terms of technology, officials and staff celebrate a pediatric CT scanner that performs a complete CT scan in just seconds — greatly reducing the need to have the child sedated. “For every aspect of the building,” Condon said, “an enormous amount of thought went into calm.” That includes outside the building and the hospital entrance road, Bubba Watson Drive. Next to the front entrance, the Mother Seton Children’s Garden includes shrubs, gazebos, benches and playground equipment. “Right when you pull off 9th Avenue, we want a playful, less-anxiety, less-stress environment,” Condon said. Hospital leaders and designers also focused on making the children’s hospital look less like a hospital. They also wanted parents and children not to feel as though they were in one. “So the days of calling a name or number and
having people queue up — gone,” Condon said. “When a child and family comes through those doors, they’re going directly to a treatment area, period.” When you enter the children’s hospital, you immediately encounter openness and warmth via wide walkways calming colors. Light shades of blue dominate. Walls feature murals that mimic the ocean and sea life. Each floor carries a theme, beginning with sea turtles on the first floor. Such features intend to promote the feeling of a family day at the beach, including “things that we in Pensacola hold dear, that relaxing moment you get watching a sunset or a sunrise or putting your feet in the water,” Condon said. The new hospital also allows a family to experience the outdoors. Condon shared the story from the previous children’s facility of a mother whose baby was about to die. She requested that her baby first see sunshine. He said the new hospital offers private outdoor respite areas that give families “what they want and need at their most critical time.” Officials say every hospital feature aims to fulfill Sacred Heart’s mission of “caring for all people regardless of their ability to pay, with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable.” “The thing I’m most proud of is the fact that we have never and never will turn a child away, period,” Condon says. “A child comes in, and they’re going to get care. We’ll figure out the bill later.”
STUDER FAMILY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL SERVING KIDS FOR OVER
BABIES SERVED IN OUR NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE UNITS ANNUALLY
CARE OF CHILDREN
50 YEARS DEDICATED TO THE
ACROSS 30 SPECIALTIES
75,353 OUTPATIENT/EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS
145 TOTAL # of BEDS
SERVED IN OUR INPATIENT UNITS
BIRTHS ANNUALLY 2019 Special Report
PUTTING PATIENTS FIRST
NEW CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AIMS TO MAKE YOUNG PATIENTS FEEL COMFORTABLE
or Cat Outzen, Director of Community Relations & Children’s Programs at the Studer Family Children’s Hospital, the facility is “childfriendly, not childish.” “It wasn’t designed with what we think is good for them, but what they have told us they want,” Outzen said. And with the new facility comes ample family accommodations, engaging entertainment and a carefully cultivated, affable environment to make every child feel at home. Undoubtedly, this experience starts with the hospital’s dedicated team of child life specialists, a team of medical professionals whose background in child development affords them the ability to normalize the hospital experience for each patient. “Whether you’re 2 or 18, our child life special10
Studer Family Children’s Hospital
by HANNAH BURKE
ists can explain medical procedures in a manner that is catered to you,” Outzen explained. “They also introduce coping plans to families, oversee appropriate play and celebrate a patient’s developmental milestones.” Child life specialists check in with patients daily and remain updated on their diagnoses and scheduled procedures. They are responsible for helping children accomplish tasks such as properly swallowing pills and providing positive distractions from procedures that could be uncomfortable, painful or frightening. “Whether it’s an IV start or a lumbar puncture, positive distractions help children disassociate and focus their attention elsewhere,” said Outzen. If a child must lie on their back for treatment, there may be an elaborate mural on the ceiling, or “I spy” activities on the walls. Mobile distrac-
tion stations introduce a sensory experience — complete with lights, sounds and aromatherapy — and are especially well received by smaller children and those on the autism spectrum. The children’s favorite distractions, said Outzen, are often the four-legged friends of the hospital’s Facility Dog Program. “Our dogs work alongside child life specialists to support patients throughout their treatment,” Outzen explained. “They’re great listeners; some of our teenage patients have found them more comforting to talk to than people.” As of this writing, Studer Family Children’s Hospital employs a 3-year-old golden retriever named Sprout, who works full-time alongside her handler. By 2020, four more highly trained facility dogs will join the program, which encourages and motivates patients to become more active.
Activity and play is highly encouraged and promotes healthy coping mechanisms, normalization and catharsis. The playroom, located on the fourth floor of the new facility, is a medical-free space. “There are no white coats, no stethoscopes or anything allowed in our playroom,” said Outzen. “It’s a strictly recreational and a safe space for patients to make friends, play games and relieve stress.” Video games, board games and art supplies abound, supplying a plethora of playful activities from which patients may choose. Thanks to many generous donations, the playroom is additionally stocked with a catalog of toys and stuffed animals that children can adopt and take back to their rooms. The fourth floor is also party central for St. Patrick’s Day festivities, Halloween and Christmas carnivals and birthday bashes. Local organizations will often pop in to host special art activities, and the U.S. Air Force and Navy often visit to complete crafts with the children. And, it’s always a home run for fun when the Pensacola Blue Wahoos baseball team and mascot swing by. But leisure isn’t limited to indoors. “The Mother Seton Garden outside the facility is a space for us to care for all of the other children who enter our facility,” said Outzen. “Some of our patients will use it — especially those with autism or those in pediatric rehabilitation — but there are thousands of kids who come to visit their siblings or grandparents and need a space to release their energy and unwind.” The Mother Seton Children’s Garden features flora of all different colors, textures, sizes and scents that stimulate the senses and provide a tranquil, therapeutic environment. Families may bring Fido for a romp in Sacred Heart’s new dog park or enjoy the sunshine and spot butterflies from one of the many special seating areas. For children, the main attraction is undoubtedly the playground, which features traditional play equipment, as well as sensory-centric stations and green space. “We want children to tell us what we’re doing right and see what they react the most positively to,” Outzen said. “We’re excited the new Children’s Hospital will provide a lot more inclusive spaces for families to be together and quiet areas to calm the mind, body and spirit. We’re looking forward to the privacy, peace and opportunities that this facility will provide for our patients.” 2019 Special Report
THE FOUNDATION FOR OVER FIVE YEARS, THE SACRED HEART FOUNDATION RALLIED A COMMUNITY by PETE REINWALD
eeks before it would open to the public, Studer Family Children’s Hospital smelled like fresh paint and a thick layer of warmth and joy. Yes, you could sense the excitement. Carol Carlan, president of Sacred Heart Foundation, showed a visitor around the new four-story, $85 million facility in late March. She occasionally came upon a worker touching up a wall, moving equipment into a room or taking a break in what appeared to be a state of satisfaction — or maybe reward. Carlan would ask the worker what he or she did. Then she’d thank them for helping turn what was just an idea more than five years ago into what is now a state-of-the-art children’s hospital that opened in May in Pensacola.
Studer Family Children’s Hospital
TO GIVE TO A CAUSE IS AN INVESTMENT FOR A DONOR, SO YOU REALLY HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT THEIR STORY IS AND HOW THEY CONNECT TO THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL.
Carol Carlan, President of Sacred Heart Foundation
The worker would nod and smile in return as if to say, “And thank you for letting me do this.” “Every worker in that building was doing what they do best with caring hands, doing their labor of love, because the end result was taking care of kids,” Carlan says. Carlan has found similar motivation from donors throughout Pensacola and beyond. Donors have included the wealthy and notso-wealthy in the community and people from Sacred Heart Hospital — staff members, nurses, doctors, top officials, emergency personnel and others. Many have volunteered for Foundation fundraising events such as the Cordova Mall Ball. “It took everybody in this community,” says Will Condon, president of the Studer Family Children’s Hospital. “There was just an energy.” That’s where Carlan and Sacred Heart Foundation come in. The Foundation, a philanthropic advocate of Ascension Sacred Heart, has been working for more than five years to meet the nonprofit system’s goal of $30 million in donations for the new hospital. Through the middle of April, Carlan said, about 11,000 people had donated at least $1 to the project and helped the Foundation reach its initial goal. The Foundation now emphasizes a new children’s hospital phase: a $5 million campaign to construct a new, expanded pediatric oncology center. “This work — raising money for a children’s hospital that really doesn’t make money — never ends,” Carlan says. She points out that more than 60 percent of the children’s hospital patients are Medicaid recipients and that the hospital never turns a child away. That motivates donors who respond to need and to helping the poorest children and families, she says. Many find additional inspiration in a facility such as Studer Family Children’s Hospital, which offers comforting amenities for children and families and boasts state-of-the-art technology that can make a difference and save lives. Often, a donation starts with empathy. “To give to a cause is an investment for a donor, so you really have to find out what their story is and how they connect to the children’s hospital,” Carlan says.
Henry Stovall, former president and CEO of Ascension Sacred Heart, with wife, Ann Blair, Children's Hospital namesake donors, Quint and Rishy Studer, with Carol Carlan, president of Sacred Heart Foundation, at the grand opening of the Studer Family Children's Hospital in April 2019.
One family expressed gratefulness that a daughter born in the Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or NICU, got the care she needed and is alive and healthy today. The family responded with a significant gift. “We hear story after story,” Carlan says. As incentive, the Foundation offers naming opportunities that allow an individual or family to be recognized on a room, wall or hospital unit or section in return for a gift. Upon walking into the hospital, you encounter a wall of fame of significant givers, highlighted in the hospital’s calming and peaceful hues. A “Dream Maker” panel trumpets donors who have given at least $5 million. A “Miracle Maker” panel touts families who have given at least $1 million, and so on. Wall after wall and room after room features a plaque that honors a giver or givers. “There is a naming opportunity for just about every room in the hospital,” Carlan says. Other naming opportunities include the hospital playgrounds, the parking garage and one of the NICU floors. Foundation and children’s hospital offi-
cials remain confident that more donors will respond, especially now that the hospital has opened. “Carol Carlan should be so excited because somebody who gave early, now that they’ve seen the hospital, will come back and say, ‘I want to double my gift,’ ” says Condon. “Like, ‘Take another hundred thousand, or I want my name on the wall. How much does it cost to get my name on the wall? I want to be a part of this thing.’ ” Carlan says the Foundation also offers various volunteering opportunities, including at the annual Mall Ball, which requires over 300 volunteers. The Ball is held every January and has raised over $4.6 million for the children’s hospital. In the Preemie Cup, which takes place every August, the Foundation asks participants to enjoy a day on the water in support of premature babies at the children’s hospital. “Our events are always community driven,” Carlan says. “So people can give three ways: their time, their talents, their resources — or all three.” 2019 Special Report
THEY ALL PLAYED A PART
DEDICATED CREW TURNED PLANS INTO REALITY by HANNAH BURKE
efore overseeing construction management for the Studer Family Children’s Hospital, Hoar Construction senior project manager David Roberts took his team aside and gave them a key piece of advice: “You’re working at a hospital that is under construction — not a construction site that just happens to be a hospital.” That, he said, made a monumental difference in how Hoar Construction approached the project, where “safety for patients, staff and visitors, and ensuring the hospital can provide the services they need to” took top priority. For Hoar, that meant copious planning around infection control, maintaining a gold standard of cleanliness, minimizing noise and working through mechanical, electrical and plumbing interruptions. And all of this was done while the existing children’s hospital remained fully operational throughout the entire 25-month construction period. The fact that the project finished two months earlier than anticipated was a “huge accomplishment,” Roberts said, and would not have been possible without the unwavering efforts of their “incredibly skilled and talented trade partners.” “We were in constant contact with the hospital when working on building systems; shutting down these systems to tie in new areas affects all staff and patients,” said Roberts. “Our project team and the hospital partnered well together throughout the construction process, as working in, on and around an existing and very active campus always presents its challenges and opportunities.” The project’s most momentous challenge, however, was outside of anybody’s control. Over two years, two tropical storms, three hurricanes and numerous bouts of rain dropped over 14 feet of water on the site and halted productivity for a total of 137 days. “One of the biggest challenges we faced was getting the foundations and underground utilities installed during one of the rainiest years in recent history,” Roberts recounted. “This was particularly vexing because we had already excavated nearly 25 feet of existing soils out of the entire building footprint, including areas below the existing building to install the foundation system.”
Studer Family Children’s Hospital
In just two years, Hoar Construction completed a single-story, vertical expansion to the hospital’s pre-existing structure, a new four-story tower and basement space. The project, designed by HKS Architects, birthed around 175,000 square feet of brand-new construction and 13,000-square feet of renovations, furnishing the new Children’s Hospital with a pediatric emergency room and trauma center, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), pediatric imaging department, playroom facilities and a family-friendly dining area. Sacred Heart’s Regional Perinatal Center, which provides specialized care to women with high-risk pregnancies, also received a significant spatial renovation. Hoar places high priority on its quality of work and superior stewardship, and Roberts gives much credit to Hoar’s senior superintendent Mike Broadaway, who he considers to be the face of the SFCH project. “Mike is a 22-year veteran with Hoar Construction and has been building hospitals for 26 of his 29-year career,” Roberts said. “This project would not have had the same results without the relentless determination, drive and perseverance that Mike sustained day in and day out. Mike thrives in a construction environment and loves getting in the details. He is a forward thinker and planner and the individual that I believe deserves the most credit for the overall outcome of this project.” Broadaway and his family have lived in Pensacola for the past 20 years, which Roberts believes fueled his drive and made this community-based undertaking all the more meaningful. “Mike’s daughter, Megan, was also our on-site field office administrator,” Roberts added. “As a family-oriented company, it was great to see that Mike was able to include her in the overall success of the project.” Families, after all, laid SFCH’s foundation. “The Studer Family Children’s Hospital has been an exciting project to work on since day one,” said Roberts. “It is an incredible feeling knowing that this facility will be so beneficial to the children and families of Pensacola for decades to come. This is a state-of-the-art facility, and Hoar Construction is incredibly grateful to have been a part of seeing it come to life over the past two years.”
OUR SMALL MIRACLE
by HANNAH BURKE
t six months pregnant, Talisa Jackson was faced with every expectant mother’s worst nightmare. Following an excruciating night of pain and spotting, Jackson, who lives in Century, Florida, was informed that she was miscarrying her baby girl, and there was nothing her doctors could do for her. Jackson was rushed to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, where she underwent an emergency cesarean section. Upon waking, Jackson was in for two surprises. Though premature, her baby was very much alive. And she had a boy. On Jan. 26, 2019, at just 24 weeks, Omaurian “Logan” Allen was born at 12 ounces and 10 inches long. He is likely the smallest surviving baby in Sacred Heart’s 100-year history. “When I woke up three days later and got to see him for the first time, I cried,” said Jackson. “He was so little and surrounded by all these tubes. I remember thinking, ‘Why me?’ ” Doctors prepared Jackson for the worst, but she said, “Do everything you can for my baby, because I’m not giving up on him.” For the next five months, neither would the Studer Family Children’s Hospital (SFCH). After being on and off ventilators and enduring countless surgeries and skin grafts, baby Logan was deemed healthy enough to go home in June. “We had two episodes where Logan died on us and stopped breathing,” Jackson said. “For a while, I went into a depression. I blamed myself because I had pre-eclampsia.” But SCHF doctors helped her realize that pre-eclampsia, a type of pregnancy complication influenced by high-blood pressure,
was common and beyond her control. Jackson said she met some “amazing people” while bonding with other NICU mothers and nurses, forming a unique support system that helped her through the darkest days. “I love my nurses,” she said. “If I was busy with my other two girls at home, they would reassure me that they had Logan, and he wasn’t going anywhere. If they ever thought something might be wrong when I came to see Logan, they would ask if I needed to talk. They became my family. They went through this with me, and I was never alone.” When the new Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart opened on May 4, Jackson and Logan were transferred from Sacred Heart’s old Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to SFCH’s new Level III NICU, where each family receives their own private room. There, Jackson was able to enjoy more solitude and peace with her son, and learn all about his “big” personality. “You’ve got to be on time with that bottle, or he’s going to let you have it” Jackson laughed. “He may be little, but he’s loud. He knows he has his nurses and mom wrapped around his finger.” But when he quiets down, gazes into his mother’s loving eyes, Jackson is steadfast with their mantra. “Every night, I tell him he’s my champion,” she said. “I tell him, ‘You are strong. You are smart. You’re a soldier, you’re victorious, you’re my miracle.’ ” Jackson promises Logan he will grow up to be successful, able to do anything and everything he could want. “As soon as I start telling him, he looks up with a smile, because he knows.”
2019 Special Report
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