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UPMC Susquehanna Celebrates Opening of New Pediatrics Unit in Williamsport

by UPMC Susquehanna


On Nov. 26, staff members at UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport celebrated the opening of the new inpatient pediatrics unit at the hospital. The new unit features seven rooms designed specifically to the needs of pediatric patients and their family members, as well as an education room dedicated to the continued learning of resident physicians and nursing staff and a child-friendly playroom.

“When you’re a child, seeing a doctor or going to a hospital can be a scary experience,” said Ashley Pence, DO, pediatrician, UPMC Susquehanna. “When designing this new unit, we approached the project from the eyes of the children and incorporated features that help make the experience less frightening. The unit is bright and open, and includes spaces for the children to interact and play just as they would do outside of the hospital. We’ve also partnered with a local young artist for the artwork that hangs on the walls.”

The local artist is Madilyn Heller, a student at Curtin Intermediate School in Williamsport. Madi, her parents Ami and Dave, local artist Jackie Thomas, and Madi’s art teacher Sandy Corson founded “Madilyn’s Art for Healing,” a special project to promote healing through art and design. Having been a patient in UPMC Susquehanna’s former pediatric unit, Madi and her family understand the importance of balancing the comfort and peace needed to enhance the healing process with the playfulness and joy childhood demands. Thanks to her generosity and artistic talents, the patients of the new pediatric unit will enjoy three pieces of artwork in the playroom.

In addition to making the unit child-friendly, there are features that also cater to the family members of the patients.

“As a parent, you feel helpless when your child is sick or hurt, and it’s an emotional time when that illness or injury requires your child to be hospitalized,” said Glenn Klucka, DO, pediatrician, UPMC Susquehanna. “One way we can make the experience less traumatic for both is to make the experience as home-like as possible. In our new unit, family members can room-in with their children while they are in our care so they can remain by their side. We’ve also added rocking chairs so that parents or loved ones can rock and soothe their child.”

The new unit is located on floor 7 at UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport, 700 High St., Williamsport.

Peds opening
Madilyn Heller, a local artist whose work is on display in UPMC Susquehanna’s new inpatient pediatric unit, helps representatives from UPMC Susquehanna cut the ribbon celebrating the opening of the new unit at UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport.