Mini-guide to major hospitals
Big care for little patients: Texas Children's Hospital lets kids be kids
Editor's Note: Navigating Houston's big medical buildings can be confusing. To help out, we offer a mini-guide to the major hospitals. Next up: Texas Children's Hospital.
Texas Children’s Hospital: A parent or caregiver always hopes their children are born healthy and stay that way, but what a relief to know there’s a hospital created for the littlest patients just in case.
Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine are partners in one of the largest and well-funded pediatric research programs in the country, with more than 800 basic research and clinical studies backed by approximately $100 million in extramural grant funding annually. The hospital is also going through a growth spurt as part of the Vision 2010 initiative, an ambitious $1.5 billion expansion that includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute which will utilize a multidisciplinary research approach to more quickly find new treatments for brain disorders like autism and Rett syndrome and a new maternity center. The hospital is also extending its reach to West Houston and building a obstetrics facility focusing on high-risk births.
History: Texas Children’s Hospital started on just six acres in May 1953 and almost immediately began changing the way hospitals approached treating children. Physician-in-chief Dr. Russell Blattner established a policy allowing at least one parent to be with their child for the duration of their hospital stay and over the years, Texas Children’s gained respect and notoriety for treating David the “Bubble Boy,” leading the way in pediatric AIDS cases and establishing the nation’s first pediatric health maintenance organization.
No. of beds: 454
Where to park: There are four garages to choose from when heading to Texas Children’s Hospital. Garage 1 is on Fannin between Texas Children’s Hospital and Methodist Hospital. Garage 2 is on the of Holcombe and Richard J.V. Johnson Ave and Garage 12 is under the West Tower at 6621 Fannin Street, entrance via Fannin Street. All three are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Garage 16 is under the Clinical Care Center at 6701 Fannin Street, entrance via Fannin Street to Bates. The garage is open Monday through Friday from 5 a.m.-8 p.m.
The garages charge $2 for the first 20 minutes gradually increasing up to $12 per 24-hour period. As with other medical center garages, pre-paid discounted SmartChips can be purchased.
Where to eat: Ask most parents and they will tell you the promise of Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets dries the eyes and lifts the spirits of most kids. Head to the third floor of the Clinical Care Center Monday through Friday and find Chick-fil-A Express, Subway, Villa Pizza and the Beanstalk coffee bar, which serves Starbucks coffee and Tazo tea. Parents of infants will appreciate the Gerber baby food station as well.
Another dining option is the Bertner Avenue Café on the B1 level of St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital. The two building are connected, so it’s an easy walk from Texas Children’s to St. Luke’s and the café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with lots of nutritious and heart-healthy options. Want something delivered to your room that doesn’t come on a tray? Click here for a list of area restaurants that deliver to the hospital.
Amenities: If you are starting the day on an inpatient floor of the hospital, perk up at 7:30 every morning. Complimentary coffee and pastries are delivered fresh.
Texas Children’s staff takes their patients needs into consideration and as a result, the hospital is colorful and engaging. It’s also a place where kids can act their age and the 16th floor of the West Tower is destination No. 1 for patients who need a break from their treatments.
In addition to the Pi Beta Phi Patient/Family Library and hair salon, patients and their families use the preteen room with a stage, video games, a pool table, an air hockey table, scheduled craft projects and Starbright computer stations, and the teen room equipped with a theater screen for patients to watch movies, Starbright computer stations, video games, pool tables and craft stations.
Other hospital mini-guides in this series: