Many Reasons to Thrive: A Touching Encounter for Workers and Families

Construction workers from Robins & Morton, Cumming and Brownstone and their many subcontractors who are building the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion in Charleston, S.C., took an endearing break Wednesday, May 17, to meet some of the children and families who have been impacted by the expert care at the children’s hospital.

construction workers with childThe “meet and greet,” which took place on the site of the new hospital, was organized by the MUSC Children’s Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) to help create the personal connection between workers and families. In addition, the Council created a heart-warming presentation that will play continuously on a television monitor in the workers’ break area. The presentation features the photos and brief stories of some of the children treated at the hospital.

“They are all working so hard, and we wanted to show them how their contributions to build the new hospital will continue to change lives in the future,” said Kelly Loyd. Loyd serves as chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Council, and she experienced MUSC care after giving birth to twin girls nearly 10 years ago.  The now vibrant girls spent their first days of life in the neonatal intensive care unit at MUSC Children’s Hospital. One daughter was in the NICU for 77 days, and the other was there for 31 days.

Joe Edmonds, a superintendent with Cumming, who oversees the steel structure and foundational work, said, “Opportunities like this where we can talk to families and see the smiles on faces of children, who each have a memorable story to share, propel us even further. We already know how important our work is, but receiving a hug or handshake from a child or family member who has been through so much makes this build even more meaningful.”

Some of the families who attended the event were members of the PFAC and others were part of a group assembled to work with the design team for the new hospital. The design group included 26 family members, with at least one of whom sat alongside architects and caregivers for every single clinical space in the hospital. Encouraged by MUSC, this innovative and unusual approach ensured that the family voice was included and incorporated into the new design.

Tara Bennett, a member of the design group and her four-year old daughter Lily, traveled more than 200 miles for the chance to meet some of the people constructing the new hospital.

Tara explained that four years ago they arrived at MUSC knowing that their daughter would be born with a congenital heart defect. They were uncertain of the journey that would follow her birth.  She said after months of waiting on the list for a heart transplant and a long stint on ECMO, where an external device took over the function of the heart, they left MUSC Children’s Hospital with a very much alive six-month-old daughter.

For Tara and family she said MUSC is love, hope, faith and a whole lot of heart. Traveling to Charleston and meeting workers constructing the new hospital was a very meaningful experience and effort well worth the drive.

MUSC Children’s Health is South Carolina’s more comprehensive system of preventative and clinical care devoted exclusively to the well-being of children. The system delivers the most advanced pediatric health services from fetal state to teen years. Six pediatric subspecialties – cardiology and heart services, cancer, nephrology, urology, gastroenterology and GI surgery and diabetes and endocrinology are ranked in top 50 in the country by US News & World Report.  MUSC Children’s Health is expanding access to specialized pediatric care through a growing network of outreach locations across the state through the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance. The new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion will be completed in 2019.