One of South Florida’s leaders in pediatric healthcare is undergoing major construction.
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood is ranked among the highest for pediatric orthopedics in the country. Now, construction will double the floors of the current hospital building.
“She’s always wondering when this is going to end, and I tell her 'soon baby,'” said Lina Velasquez, whose daughter Sophia who is battling cancer.
An oncology patient now in kidney failure and on dialysis, Sophia is just five years old. By her bedside is her mom and sister, hoping that with each treatment she’ll get stronger and healthier.
“I feel blessed because all these things she can have, all these things in my country we don’t have,” said Velasquez. “Also they help her a lot, to be happy to be doing activities, to forget about this sickness.”
Now, with construction underway, even more kids like Sophia can get help.
“It’s an honor that families trust us, and the kids come here and they are not scared. You’ll see the environment we try to not make it seem like a hospital,” said CEO Caitlin Beck Stella.
This major construction and expansion project comes on the heels of high demand for pediatric specialty services.
“Love is really at the center of everything we do,” said Stella.
Later this year, construction will be completed for the expansion of more than 300,000 square feet and four floors of added care.
“The theme of this building is the healing power of play. That’s why there will be a play space outside in the building,” said Stella. “The terrace is really great, because families that are here and they want to go outside and don’t want to be with everyone coming and going they can go outside. And it’s also attached to the new rehab gym.”
The eighth floor is really the showpiece, where there will be a family lounge, a gym, a business center, a spa-like bathroom, a classroom with a stem lab, a stimulation lab to train their own staff and the Garth Brooks Child Life Zone.
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