Phoenix Children’s opens cutting-edge cardiovascular intensive care unit

On the heels of its top “three-star” rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, a repeat “Best Children’s Hospital” designation, and its ranking among the nation’s top Pediatric Heart Centers from U.S. News & World Report, Phoenix Children’s will open a newly expanded Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) in July 2019. With 48 total inpatient beds, the new CVICU doubles the capacity of the previous 24-bed unit. New CVICU rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art technology like surgical lighting, lifts for mobilizing adult patients and improved monitoring capabilities.

To ensure the new CVICU wing would address patient and staff needs, designers sought insight from the Heart Center clinicians and patient families who sit on the Phoenix Children’s Heart Family Advisory Council. Per their recommendations, CVICU patient rooms are now retrofitted to function as operating rooms – or “ORs” – on a moment’s notice. Special improvements include advanced OR lighting systems and double flat-screen monitors to observe patients’ vital signs. 

“The OR lights are a remarkable improvement. Having these in inpatient rooms will make it easier to perform procedures when necessary,” said Josh Koch, MD, Division Chief of the CVICU at Phoenix Children’s. “It’s two-fold: Not only does this help the operating team, but it also increases quality of care for the patient. Surgical capability in patient rooms better enables life-saving care by reducing the time needed to prep and move to an open OR.”

Beyond surgical capability, the unit will also be a better-integrated, centralized hub for CVICU staff.

Several patient rooms will offer electronic lifts to help mobilize larger pediatric and adult patients. These tools assist staff and respond to America’s growing population of adult patients with congenital heart disease. 

Private areas for patient families help complete the unit, and privacy curtains are in every CVICU room. This way, families can take time to themselves without leaving their loved one’s side.

“Building the new CVICU at Phoenix Children’s was a remarkably collaborative effort,” said Dr. Koch. “Staff had an opportunity to weigh in, but we also wanted to know what our patients and their families thought about our services. We asked them, ‘What can we do better? What will make your time here easier?’ They told us.  And we listened. The CVICU is now a reflection of that.” 

With a team of committed providers ready to care for patients throughout Arizona, combined with increasing national recognition of its quality and outcomes, Phoenix Children’s Heart Center has become a premier cardiac program in the U.S. Over the past two years, the Center has grown to include robust fetal cardiology services and a new adult congenital heart disease program, which enables providers to care for heart patients of all ages and at all levels of complexity.

WM Phoenix Open and The Thunderbirds Donate $400K to help expand CVICU

Thunderbirds Charities, the fundraising arm of The Thunderbirds, hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community, donated $400,000 to Phoenix Children’s Hospital in a check presentation ceremony on Thursday, June 20, 2019.  The extraordinary donation will benefit the expansion of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) at PCH.  This was the second largest donation The Thunderbirds have made to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and since 1985, the organization has donated more than $2.6 million to PCH. 

Thanks to this donation from The Thunderbirds and other supporters across the Valley, the CVICU, which ranks among U.S. News and World Report’s Top-10 in the nation for Cardiology and Heart Surgery, will double in size and will utilize new state-of-the-art equipment. 

“We have a long standing friendship with Phoenix Children’s Hospital and are excited to be able to offer support to this outstanding Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit,” said Chance Cozby, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We’re fortunate enough to host one of the best golf tournaments in the world, but these are the days we look forward to. We’re honored to be a part of this project and celebrate this wonderful day, knowing that so many children and families will get such great treatment at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in the years to come.”

The CVICU has seen an increased demand in care over the last several years. One in 100 infants born today have a congenital heart defect. The Heart Center at Phoenix Children’s is the only Center of its kind in the Southwest, and quickly becoming an international destination for expert care. The donations will fund an increased number of beds, cutting-edge technology and a more robust continuum of care.

“Thanks to the generous contributions from our great friends at Thunderbirds Charities, the CVICU is able to double its number of beds, from 24 to 48,” said Steve Schnall, senior vice president and chief development officer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation. “The community will continue to feel the impact of these donations for years to come.”