St. Mary’s Hospital for Children’s Virtual Topping Off Ceremony Celebrates New Patient Pavilion


Public Watched Online as New Building Was “Topped Off” with Last Piece of Steel

St. Mary’s Hospital for Children commemorated the placement of the last steel beam in its new Patient Pavilion with a “Topping Off” Celebration on Wednesday, September 7 at 12:30 PM.  Typically celebrated in the construction world, St. Mary’s Topping Off included children, staff, construction workers, and friends who helped mark this important milestone in St. Mary’s 140-year history.  The public was invited to watch a live broadcast on St. Mary’s website as the beam was lifted to its new home. 

For those who missed the live event, see the rebroadcast below

St. Mary’s Kids Topping Off Event from St. Mary’s Kids on Vimeo.

The Topping Off Celebration also marked a significant milestone in St. Mary’s Building Hope, Restoring Lives Campaign – a comprehensive campaign to build a new Patient Pavilion for St. Mary’s Kids, modernize St. Mary’s existing 1950’s-era building, and sustain vital programs and services.  Thanks to the philanthropic support of loyal supporters, St. Mary’s is in the homestretch of its fundraising efforts, having raised 90% of its $30 million goal.

The 30-minute live broadcast featured St. Mary’s Kids along with a panel of guests including Jeffrey Frerichs, St. Mary’s President and CEO; Stephen Brent Wells, Board Chairman; Dr. Edwin Simpser, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer; Thomas Kissane, Board Director and Campaign Co-Chair; and moderator Stefan Friedman.  The panelists discussed the dire need for a new state-of-the-art facility to care for the growing needs ofNew York’s medically complex children and thanked the community for its generous support of the project.

St. Mary’s provides intensive rehabilitation, specialized medical care, and education to children with special needs due to serious illness, injury and/or complications of premature birth.   The modernization project will provide much needed additional space for rehabilitation, patient care, education, and family visitation.

Key highlights of the building project include:

  • A new Rehabilitation Wing with state-of-the-art rehab equipment and an endless pool to accommodate multiple modes of therapy.
  • Outdoor space complete with a walking track, sidewalks, and road signs will give patients a home-like environment and promote community reintegration.
  • Right-sized patient rooms, replacing cramped 4 to 5-bedded rooms with mostly doubles.  No new beds will be added – St. Mary’s will remain a 97-bed facility.
  • Family suites for overnight visitation to promote family education and integration skills prior to discharge.
  • 58 new parking spots to eliminate on-street parking and allow families and visitors easier access.
  • A permanent home for PS 23Q, St. Mary’s onsite public school.
  • An expanded exterior entrance and covered portico to better accommodate ambulances, visitors and community children arriving by bus.
  • Sustainable design elements, including the use of renewable materials and energy efficient lighting systems.

Anticipated to open in Fall 2012, the new Patient Pavilion will transform the lives of children for generations to come.