Pediatric patients at Helford Clinical Research Hospital at City of Hope will soon get a special place of their own where they can play, socialize and relax amid warm breezes and sunshine.
Construction has started on the Rita Cooper Finkel & J. William Finkel Pediatric Family Terrace, an outdoor area on the south roof, off the hospital’s third level. The warm, welcoming space will open this summer.
“This is our first opportunity to allow pediatric patients and their families to have access to the outdoors without leaving the physical constraints of the building,” said David Wade, senior project manager in Project Administration. “It will be a supervised area — a place where our pediatric staff can work with children and where patients can sit and enjoy the outdoors with their families.”
Longtime City of Hope supporters and Angel of Hope Chapter Rita Cooper Finkel and J. William Finkel made the space possible through a generous gift. The couple’s previous support enabled City of Hope to open the Rita Cooper Finkel and J. William Finkel Women’s Health Center.
In the current project, Wade worked with consultants to design the terrace area, which will feature two distinct sections. One half of the terrace is a family area, featuring large potted trees, tables and chairs. “It’s an area where families can go outside and decompress,” Wade said.
The other half is designed for playful, growing children. It features rubberized flooring to protect against falls and a series of mesh awnings overhead can be opened and closed, allowing for both warming sunlight and soothing shade. A butterfly-themed water feature will add to the architectural feel of the space — a space expected to support patient physical and emotional well being.
Planters filled with bamboo that encircle the terrace’s perimeter provide a natural, visual screen, and bars behind the plants will provide safety. Child Life specialists, rehabilitation therapists or other staff members will supervise children on the terrace. The terrace’s entrance will be located next to the pediatric teen room and activity center.
Wade noted that several City of Hope staff members contributed their expertise to the project, including Judith Sato, M.D., acting chair of the Division of Pediatrics, Bernard R. Tegtmeier, Ph.D., co-chair of City of Hope’s Infection Control Team, Jennifer Brown, O.T.R., director of rehabilitation services, Tami Case, M.A., administrative director of pediatrics, as well as James S. Miser, M.D., former chief executive officer and chief medical officer of the Medical Center.