When you enter the 9th floor of the new Sanford Medical Center Fargo, it’s hard to believe you’re in a hospital. But don’t be confused – this is the children’s floor. As you exit off the elevators you are immediately greeted by a giant interactive touch screen that has fun games and interactive images for children. The halls of this floor are adorned with artwork of kids laughing and playing. There’s even frames where art made by patients and their siblings can be hung and displayed. This is a place where kids can just be kids, even though they are in the hospital.
Speaking of kids just being kids, Sanford Children’s Hospital features a special playroom know as Cully’s Kids Cabin. This “playroom” is 3,000 square feet and includes tons of activities for all ages of children, from toddlers to teens. There’s an arts and crafts area, a video interactive area featuring a green screen, Xboxes in the teen space, and of course, the all-star hockey shootout area. The hockey theme in Cully’s Cabin is influenced by Matt Cullen, a professional hockey player from Moorhead whose donation made this area possible. The Cullen Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization started by Matt and Bridget Cullen, donated $1 million to create the space.
Though a lot of playing happens here, this is also a place where experts work. In fact, Sanford Children’s Hospital is the only Level II Pediatric Trauma Center in North Dakota; the next closet are in Minneapolis and Sanford Sioux Falls. This Level II Pediatric Trauma Center is crucial for our region, as Sanford Children’s Hospital serves patients from all over North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.
All the rooms at Sanford Children’s Hospital will be private, including 34 of the 40 NICU beds. The other six NICU beds are designed for families with twins and other multiples. At one point in time, NICUs were one room open wards and then later became pods. The shift to private rooms, which are the same size as adult rooms, will allow for families to stay more comfortably with their babies while they are in the hospital. This NICU is a Level IV, which is the highest level of NICU care. It’s located just one floor below the Family Birth Center so a newborn can receive immediate NICU attention if needed.
The new Sanford Children’s Hospital has increased to 72 inpatient beds to meet the demand for services added when more pediatric physician specialists were recruited. The current children’s hospital has 24 pediatric intensive care beds, while the new hospital will have 32 inpatient PICU beds.
A place to play, a place to heal. This is what the new Sanford Children’s Hospital is about. While it’s not ideal for children to be in the hospital, hopefully the vibrant space will give the children who spend time there something to be excited about while they work on getting better.