Officials reveal details for new children's hospital - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Officials reveal details for new children's hospital

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

For Nancy Dvorak and her daughter Onnah, spending long bouts in the hospital has become their normal.

"She's trying to be a typical six-year old in the environment she's in," Dvorak said. 

Onnah has been battling illness for a good portion of her life, recently being diagnosed with FSGS, a disease attacking the kidneys.

"This came out of nowhere for us.  It was very unexpected," Dvorak said.

Extended stays in the white walls of a hospital is no easy task for a six-year-old.

Friday, hospital leaders unveiled extensive plans for the new University of Iowa Children's Hospital, designed specifically to help make thousands of children like Onnah feel more at home.

"It's a tough time for them at the hospital.  We still need to try to make them feel as comfortable as we can," said Jay Goodin, the children's hospital program manager.

The new $292 million, 14 level hospital will feature 130 private, spacious patient rooms, and better accommodations for family members.

The hospital will also be equipped to better care for its patients, giving doctors the space needed to provide all pediatric services under one roof.

"The goal is to improve patient care.  To improve the stay for families and patients," Goodin said.

Maybe most special for children like Onnah, the new hospital will reflect their tastes.

Hospital leaders are taking feedback on their patients' favorite colors and graphics and implementing those into the new building.

"Anything that shows any kind of color, she loves it," Dvorak said.

Anything to make another difficult trip to the hospital feel a little more comfortable.

The project is set to be completed in 2016.

Last year the UI Children's Hospital cared for more than six thousand hospitalized children.

I think it's a great thing that people can come down here and see it, get their eyes on it, see and look and have their opinions on what's the future to come.

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