April 16, 2012

New JHH facility ushers in next era of health care

More than 1,000 people were on hand to take part in the dedication on April 12 of The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s new $1.1 billion, state-of-the-art facility. The ceremony marked completion of one of the nation’s largest hospital construction projects, which features the Sheikh Zayed Cardiovascular and Critical Care Tower and The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center.

“These buildings are more than bricks and beds; they are symbols of Johns Hopkins’ enduring commitment to our patients and our community. They will help our physical environment keep pace with the cutting-edge breakthroughs of our researchers and the consistently compassionate care of our clinicians, nurses and caregivers,” said Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels. “From its earliest days more than a century ago, Johns Hopkins Medicine set the benchmark for patient-centered care, while advancing both research and teaching. Whether they come to us from East Baltimore or East Asia, our patients deserve the finest care in the finest facilities.”

The dedication ceremony, at the football field–sized entrance to the 1.6 million-square-foot facility, honored the many donors, including United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose personal $120 million gift significantly contributed to making this high-tech facility’s design enhance the level of care, comfort and privacy of its patients.

The art and architecture evident in the new facilities are the result of a collaboration among more than 70 artists from across the country, architects, an art curator, Bloomberg Philanthropies, patients, community members and the leadership and staff of Johns Hopkins. More than 500 original works of art were created for the new hospital building to enhance healing. Of particular note is the unique facade, a wall of glass and steel commissioned by Mayor Bloomberg and created by Brooklyn artist Spencer Finch.

“The opening of these new patient care facilities will be a transformative milestone in the history of health care in Maryland and beyond,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley. “For more than a century, patients have come to Johns Hopkins for the best possible, evidence-based, patient-centered care. These new facilities will match that excellent care with greater comfort and privacy for patients and their families in a state-of-the-art environment.”

Covering five acres, the building—which includes 560 all-private patient rooms, 33 state-of-the-art operating rooms and expansive adult and pediatric emergency departments—is the new front door of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, at 1800 Orleans St. Patients will begin to move in on April 29, and the facility opens to all on May 1.

“The generosity of our donors and the hard work of so many individuals at Hopkins have made it possible for us to now have clinical facilities that match the quality of our faculty and staff, the excellence of our medical care and the needs of our patients,” said Edward D. Miller, the Frances Watt Baker, M.D., and Lenox D. Baker Jr., M.D., Dean of the Medical Faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “These sparkling towers represent what can be achieved when people from throughout our city, our state, our nation and the world share a common vision of a medical center that is a beacon of hope for patients everywhere.”

“We are fortunate that generous visionaries from across many communities shared and helped us achieve our vision for a new environment of care for the 21st century,” said Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine, noting that philanthropic contributions provided one-third of the funding for the project. The state of Maryland contributed $100 million.

Along with state-of-the-art, world-leading medical care, patients, staff and visitors will find creative landscaping and “healing gardens” and high-quality amenities that include valet parking and an interactive television network, with Internet, movies, games, way-finding apps and clinical team updates. Expanded food-ordering options are made possible by the construction of a 30,000-square-foot kitchen to supplement the existing hospital kitchen.

The construction provided more than 4,700 jobs, 1,000 of which were filled by Baltimore City residents, 280 of whom live in East Baltimore neighborhoods surrounding the hospital.

The Sheikh Zayed Tower is named for the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who served as the founder and first president of the United Arab Emirates. His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the current U.A.E. president, made the contribution to honor the legacy of his father, who was dedicated to providing the best health care, education and basic needs to his people and to advancing the standard of health care for the people of the U.A.E. and the world.

The Zayed Tower will be the new home of the Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute and also will house advanced neurological and neurosurgical services, transplant surgery, trauma care, orthopedics, general surgery and labor and delivery. Its 355 private patient rooms include 224 for acute care, 96 for intensive care and 35 for labor and delivery. The rooftop of the building has a helistop.

The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center, housed in the other tower, is named in honor of the late mother of Mayor Bloomberg and Marjorie Tiven. It has 205 private rooms and 10 surgical suites designed exclusively for pediatric patients.

Sleeping accommodations in patient rooms, along with kitchen and laundry facilities on pediatric floors, will make it easier and more comfortable for parents to stay with their children and be involved in their care. A two-story playroom with a basketball court and a TV studio are among the amenities included to make the hospital stay more pleasant for children.

A feature of the building’s interiors is a handpicked collection of more than 500 works of art created by more than 70 artists from across the United States. The art project was spearheaded by a team from Bloomberg Philanthropies working with curator Nancy Rosen and Johns Hopkins staff.

Shimmering walls of glass and steel with colors inspired by the works of Monet envelop the exteriors of both towers. Other works of art include 11 super-sized sculptures created by set designer Robert Israel, pictorial window shades, 300 paintings inspired by popular children’s books and more than 200 works inspired by nature.

“Through these exceptional artists and architects we have created a unique space that incorporates art and design thoughtfully and with attention to detail. The center has a calming presence and creates a healing environment for all the families that pass through these doors and the expert medical professionals who work here,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Hopkins has been leading the world in medicine for a century. Today, these new facilities will bring research, teaching and clinical care more closely together and will be an important step forward in defining a new standard of care.”

Bloomberg is a 1964 engineering graduate of The Johns Hopkins University and is the largest donor in the 136-year history of the Johns Hopkins Institutions, having contributed to date more than $800 million since his first donation of $5 in 1965. He served as the chairman of the university’s board of trustees from 1996 to 2002, overseeing the largest fundraising campaign in the school’s history. In 2001, the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health was named the Bloomberg School of Public Health to recognize his commitment and support.