McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member David Perlmutter, MD, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC physician-in-chief and scientific director, along with other hospital leaders say Children’s new 10-acre Lawrenceville campus -- which includes a 900,000-square-foot hospital and 300,000-square-foot research center -- is being built around putting families first, improving the quality of patient care, taking advantage of all the latest technology, and enhancing research.
"The complexity of what goes on in a hospital is so extraordinary," and positive outcomes rely on doctors, staff, and families working closely together, said Dr. Perlmutter. "You can do it in an existing structure, but if you are going to build a new structure, you might as well build it to fit your needs."
One building, the John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center, is set to open in October 2008. The center, which is connected to the main hospital building via an enclosed glass walkway, has a conference center and 144,000 square feet of lab space.
Researchers at Children's current hospital are spread out in different locations, working in rooms with low ceilings and doors. The new lab space includes rows and rows of wooden laboratory stations, a window office for every researcher, and break rooms that look out over the city.
"The design of this building is to create a structure where there is maximum interaction between researchers," said Dr. Perlmutter.
Bringing researchers together drives down costs and also enhances their work, he said.
He added the lab building is a huge draw for world-class researchers. Since Dr. Perlmutter joined the hospital in 2001, he has recruited more than 140 pediatric subspecialists, and research funding to the hospital from the National Institutes of Health has more than doubled to close to $50 million a year.
Dr. Perlmutter is also a Vira I. Heinz Professor and Chairman of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh where he teaches Cell Biology and Physiology in the School of Medicine.