Apr 21 2011

Women and Children First

Loree Collett strives to make a difference in the Health System’s new hospital

Administrative Director Loree Collett holds a countdown clock to count the days until the opening of the new children's and women's hospital.

When Loree Collett, R.N., BSN, MSBA, began her nursing career at the Health System in 1987 as a staff nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, she never dreamed she’d be involved in building a state-of-the-art women’s and children’s hospital. Twenty-four years later – 16 of them in patient care – her clinical experience and expertise made her the right candidate for the job.

“As a clinical person, it’s a great opportunity to help the architects design a new hospital,” Collett says. “Being selected to lead it is a once-in-a-lifetime responsibility.”

Collett, now administrative director, Women’s and Children’s Services, is one of the leaders of the Von Voigtlander Women’s and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital replacement project and initially acted as a clinical liaison to ensure the new facility meets the needs of all units, departments and services. The new hospital will open in November.

“One of the first things I did was to meet with many clinicians in different areas to begin laying out their space within the new hospital,” Collett says. “We were asking things like, ‘How many operating rooms will we need,’ ‘How many storage rooms will you need,’ and then we began mapping out square footage.”

Collett has responsibilities for many aspects of the new hospital project, including growth and activity planning, workforce planning, coordinating the move plan and activation, and transition into the new hospital. The project has a dedicated team of staff working very hard to bring the building together by November and includes many different groups, such as the CW project team, Medical Center Information Technology, Capital Equipment, Interior Design, Architecture, Engineering and Construction and Barton Malow to name a few.

Collett stands in one of the new hospital's all-private rooms.

“In the transition from patient care to administration, I felt I had a good sense of what patients need and could make a difference for caregivers by helping them prepare to deliver the best care possible,” she says. “I’ve also learned a lot about a building project including how to speak the same language as our architects, read a floor plan and count ceiling tiles to measure distance.”

The new women’s and children’s hospital will be more than twice the square footage of the current hospital and will offer private-only patient rooms. Collett says that, in addition to decreasing a patient’s risk for infections, private rooms give families more flexibility and choices when it comes to the care of their child. Technology will be greatly enhanced at the new hospital with wireless internet service throughout. And, the building was designed with natural light in mind for both patients and staff.

“I’m looking forward to seeing people’s faces when they recognize the great space we’re moving into,” Collett says. “We’ll get over the hump of ‘it’s new’ and be able to provide the best patient care possible.”

How does Collett plan to celebrate the new hospital? With a vacation to Hawaii next spring.

Fun facts about the new hospital:

  • There are three types of elevators: patient, public and “stuff” so that visitors don’t have to ride with supplies (such as linens).
  • The Health System’s first open MRI puts pediatric patients at ease and should limit the need for sedation.
  • There will eventually be an intraoperative MRI so clinicians can scan patients during surgery to ensure the best outcome in the least time.
  • Every inpatient floor has a respite area, a wall of windows in a quiet place so patients and families can have access to the outside world.
  • A large indoor playground offers patients a place to climb and slide all year round no matter what the weather.
  • A green roof will help reduce heating and cooling costs.
  • There is a rooftop helipad.
  • The signed beams (completed in October 2008) are on the 12th floor facing west.
  • Approximately 7,000 people (staff, faculty, and volunteers) will  have building orientation and/or training between July and October.

One Response to “Women and Children First”

  1. Jacqueline Eckert says:

    I have had the pleasure of knowing Loree for the past 6 years, since I first came to U of M to work. Then and now, she is very approachable, kind and full of energy! I am so proud of all the work she has done for the new Mott Hospital project and wanted to congratulate her on a job well done!

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