Source: Courier Post Online
Penelope Applegate toddled past the front desk in the light-drenched lobby Thursday at Nemours duPont Pediatrics, making a beeline for a grinning gray hippo sculpture dubbed “Holly.” The 18-month-old East Greenwich girl promptly planted a kiss on its rosy cheek.
Call it the little one’s stamp of approval on the new specialty-care center, just past the Deptford Mall on Almonesson Road. The $45 million outpatient space officially opened its doors Thursday, revealing a bright, friendly space designed around children and their families.
The 63,500-square-foot facility is Nemours Children’s Health System‘s largest in the Delaware Valley region, outside of its main hospital in Wilmington, Delaware. Roughly a half-million children live within the facility’s reach on this side of the Delaware River, Parkinson said, and the center can handle up to 500 patients a day.
“We are very invested in South Jersey,” Parkinson said. “We believe there are a lot of children who need care in South Jersey, and they don’t have to leave.”
The Deptford location offers pediatric care in 19 specialties, from allergy to urology. It’s supported by 50 staff and 50 specialty physicians, most of whom live in South Jersey. Children can visit for same-day surgery, infusion therapy, cancer treatments, physical and occupational therapy, and more. The site also offers medical imaging, from X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging, to swallowing studies and ultrasounds, so young patients won’t have to travel elsewhere for tests.
Nemours relied on a family advisory council and a youth advisory council to help interior designer Laura Ethridge-Morris plan the facility’s details, from the bench seating in each exam room to the child-led artwork etched in frosted glass on each clinic entry. Pods of child-safe seating, curved walls and play spaces fill the lobby, offering various waiting areas designed to appeal to different ages and needs. There is a small cafe, and a supervised playroom, so siblings can play while parents attend appointments with their patient.
“We are honored by the privilege of bringing this spectacular facility to Deptford Township and the families of South Jersey,” said Dr. Roy Proujansky, chief executive of Nemours Delaware Valley Operations. “Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Deptford is a direct reflection of our commitment to keep care local — whenever possible — because we believe families deserve convenient access and continuity of care for their children, close to home.”
On Saturday, Nemours celebrates its opening with a free “family fun day” at the site from noon to 4 p.m. The event will include pony rides, carnival games, food trucks, music and characters.