Dialogue: What's the latest with Children's Hospital Boston at Waltham?
Jane Venti, director of Satellite Services, Donna Casey, director of Internal Consulting
When will we start seeing patients
in Waltham and what services will
JV: We will officially start seeing patients on Monday, June 6. Waltham will be a full-service location, with plans right now that include services by Adolescent Medicine, Allergy, Cardiology, Dermatology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, General Surgery, Preventive Cardiology, Nephrology, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, Sports Medicine and Urology.
Appointments are already being scheduled for all of these services. The main number in Waltham is (781) 216-2100. Telephone hours for patient families and Children's staff to schedule are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
DC: In addition to the services we know are going out there, we're also developing plans for several additional services in Waltham. One of the most exciting is a full-service youth wellness center. Our hope is that it would involve Sports Medicine, Cardiac Rehab services, representatives from the Department of Medicine, Orthopedics, Cardiology, Oncology and complementary therapies.
How many staff are you hiring in Waltham and when will they start?
JV: Over 60 Children's provders will be seeing patients at the site, and there will be 30 Full Time Equivalents, or FTEs, including the clinical and administrative staff. We anticipate that the number of both staff and providers will grow over the next few years as Waltham gets busier.
Some employees have already started, including Jillian Stewart and Diane Stanley, the site's new administrative coordinator and clinical coordinator, respectively. They've been on board since mid-March helping get Waltham ready to see patients and house employees.
Many positions have been filled, and staff will be starting in the next few weeks. There are still openings, including clinical assistant and administrative positions. New employees and/or current Children's employees are eligible for these jobs, so check out www.childrenshospital.org/jobs if you or someone you know is interested.
How many patient visits will be
conducted in Waltham?
DC: For the first full year Waltham is open (fiscal year 2006), our goal is to have 28,000 to 30,000 visits in the 21,000 square feet of available clinical space.
Over the next five years, we'll be renovating more of the whole campus so we can accommodate between 70,000 and 100,000 visits. In addition, we hope to be able to add some day surgery operating rooms and a full imaging suite, including magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear medicine capabilities.
Why is the new Waltham site
important for Children's?
JV: There are a lot of reasons, but the biggest are access and customer service.
As anyone who comes to the Longwood Medical Area (LMA) can tell you, getting here can be difficult. There's a lot of traffic, affordable parking is hard to come by and waits are often long to see our clinicians.
Families know they can get basic health care closer to their homes and avoid the hassle and stress of coming into Boston. So Waltham lets us provide Children's-quality specialty services in a more timely manner in a location that's easy to get to and has free parking. And moving some of the volume to Waltham has the added benefit of letting clinicians on the Boston campus focus on the more medically intense tertiary and quaternary patients.
How are we promoting Waltham?
DC: While the so-called decanting of the Boston campus is important, the goal in Waltham is not just to move patients out of the LMA. The success of the site also depends on attracting new patients, so the hospital's Marketing and Public Affairs Department is developing and implementing a campaign to let people know about the new site.
The internal hospital campaign, already underway, makes use of posters, flyers and buttons to inform staff and patient families of our expansion. A more public effort to drive new volume will follow right on its heels, using print media, radio and a Mix 98.5 ice cream truck to promote the new site.
This site has come together quickly. How did it all get done?
DC: We're amazed when we look back and realize that Children's didn't officially own the Waltham site until January 6 of this year. Planning was going on after we signed the purchase and sale agreement last October, but by the time Waltham opens, we will have essentially gotten this site up and running in five months.
The whole planning team, and Jim Cote [practice administrator in Orthopedics] in particular, has been very involved in the program planning for Waltham. Jim has worked closely with other administrators to organize Waltham's services so it will be ready for our providers.
JV: We can't thank the people in Facilities enough. They've been working incredibly hard to design and renovate a space that hadn't been maintained for many years, and have done a wonderful job making the site not only useful, but also very child-friendly. In addition to Facilities, the hospital's Materials Management and Information Services Departments have been hugely helpful in putting the infrastructure together.
When Waltham opens in June, it will be thanks to the efforts of many people. We really think this new site will make all those efforts worthwhile for our patients and their families.
For more information on Children's Hospital Boston at Waltham, including directions and links to information on the site's clinical services, visit www.childrenshospital.org/waltham.