(Bakersfield, California) - Families call Valley Children’s Healthcare’s Bakersfield offices and can’t contain their excitement.
“They call in and say we’re getting Valley Children’s,” said Davina Garcia, specialty care operations manager for Valley Children’s Healthcare, which opened offices in Bakersfield in 2015.
Excitement over the two-story, 52,000 square foot Eagle Oaks Specialty Care Center – set to open in October 2018 – also extends to staff in the Bakersfield offices and Valley Children’s leadership.
“It makes our staff here really feel connected with Valley Children’s,” Garcia said. “When people see George on the side of the building, they really know it’s Valley Children’s.”
A Valley Children’s leadership group visited Eagle Oaks in April to improve understanding of the building’s design and consider ideas for such issues as easier workflow, security and pedestrian and vehicle traffic patterns at the facility. Valley Children’s is also building Pelandale Specialty Care Center in Modesto, which will be nearly identical to Eagle Oaks and open in 2019.
Even before going inside Eagle Oaks, the building makes a lasting impression. Visitors were struck by the can’t-miss front window emblazoned with Valley Children’s mascot, George, greeting them.
“This is one of the most impressive things I have seen in a long time,” said David Horsham, information technology support services director. “This is a statement that we are here to stay, that we are committed to this community.”
The window generates an immediate sense of pride, said Kris Aubry, executive director of Ambulatory Services for Valley Children’s Healthcare.
“Awesome, incredibly striking,” she said. “Our center is definitely a presence; I could see it from the street coming in and knew where I was going right away. What a beautiful facility to provide care to children in the South Valley.”
It’s About Care for the Kids
The Bakersfield offices are continuing an upward patient-growth trend. For fiscal year 2017, there was a double-digit increase in Kern County patients over the previous year. An upward trend is projected to continue for years to come.
There are 20 patient rooms on Eagle Oaks’ first floor. The second floor includes some patient services, but is mostly dedicated to administration.
And, while the patients’ treatment rooms will offer the most up-to-date, high-tech experience for employees and patients, it’s the open, kid-friendly environment that will alleviate much of the stress both parents and children experience in trips to the doctor’s office.
“It’s very open, it feels like a safe place,” Aubry said. “It will take away, or minimize the fear, of going to the doctor for many children. It’s a space where parents won’t have to worry about their kids.”
The first floor entry has a kid-friendly life center featuring a 30-foot-high giraffe sculpture; lighted bubble tubes; a nine-monitor interactive California Landscape themed area with an Intel Real Sense camera that tracks the kid’s movement on the large screens; kid-sized cubbyholes; and an interactive “treehouse” playroom.
Outside, a playground and child-sized grass maze with topiaries within the maze will offer kids outdoor play opportunities.
“It allows the patients to not just sit in a waiting room and wait,” Garcia said. “They are not going to want to leave; it’s like they are not going to the doctor anymore.”
Other Valley Children’s facilities are underway in Clovis and Fowler, and recently announced plans last week for new projects in Visalia and north Fresno.