Orange, purple and other bright walls along with colorful big dots on the floor quickly set the mood by erasing the sterile hospital atmosphere in the new pediatric emergency department of the Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria.
Officials gathered at the entrance to the new unit Friday morning for a brief grand opening ceremony, including the unveiling of Rancho Guadalupe’s role before a priest blessed the facility with holy water.
A large donation from the family business helped fund the creation of the seven-bed unit with its own entrance.
“I just want to welcome everyone and thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for what you’ve done for our facility and for the emergency pediatric services,” said Sue Andersen, Marian president and chief executive officer.
She expressed her appreciation to Rancho Guadalupe leaders—Dick Donati, James Wesner, and AJ Cisney—for the large donation that led to the creation of the Children’s Department.
“I see it as a partnership for this community to improve health care in this community,” Andersen added.
During the ceremony, the trio removed a curtain covering the sign to show their commitment.
Reverend Charles Hofschulte will bless the new pediatric emergency department of Marian Regional Medical Center at a grand opening ceremony on Friday. (Janene Scully/Noozhawk photo)
The nearly 2,000-square-foot unit includes seven special beds for children, including three triage rooms, a separate entrance for children, a special pediatric nursing station and a redesigned lobby.
“As clinicians, we’re really looking forward to using this space in a way that can provide privacy for our pediatric patients…,” said Dr. David Ketelaar. “It sends a message to our community and to our pediatric patients that they are important enough that we give them their own space here and that we recognize that they have specific needs.”
Bette Jenkins, an emergency nurse and clinical educator, recalls bringing her daughter Paige to the facility for a serious medical problem.
The specialized unit will enable staff to continue to provide quality care while providing parents with a safe place to care for their sick or injured children.
“I don’t know if we can express gratitude for the ability to have that service,” she said, adding that the unit is designed and equipped to help the smallest adult-sized infants and teens.
While Marian has always provided pediatric care, the new ward provides a welcoming environment for younger patients. One of its features is a colorful mural on the wall of the main corridor.
One room, complete with a bright orange wall, has been specially adapted for pediatric resuscitation of children in critical conditions.
Brightly colored walls are featured in Marian Regional Medical Center’s new pediatric emergency department. (Janene Scully/Noozhawk photo)
The addition pushed the hospital’s emergency room beds to 42, including private adult rooms.
The Marian Foundation completed a $2.5 million Emergency Services Expansion Project campaign to make the project a reality, with Rancho Guadalupe as the largest donor, officials said.
“With their generous gift, we were able to develop the Pediatric Emergency Department that you will see today, but it also spoke volumes for the community,” said Jessa Brooks, vice president of philanthropy. “With their leadership, others in the community have risen.”
The 25-year-old farm, which grows strawberries, raspberries, broccoli, cauliflower and more, took care of the donation.
Co-owner James Wesner said the farm decided to make the donation in recognition of Rancho Guadalupe’s “greatest asset” — its 1,300 employees.
“It’s another way we can touch the community and help people,” Wesner said.