The walls are painted vibrant colors and feature theme-specific artwork, the rehabilitation gym mimics a playground, and the imaging equipment is wrapped in an under-the-sea motif. The new Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center in Wellington doesn’t feel like a place kids would be scared to come to, and that’s just the point.
Featuring the same “Power of Play” philosophy as Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, the pediatric facility in Wellington is a 31,000 square foot, freestanding building that took two years to construct and equip. It houses specialists in six medical disciplines - endocrinology, pulmonology, otolaryngology, orthopedics, general surgery, and neurology - as well as comprehensive imaging (MRI and ultrasound), outpatient surgery, and rehabilitation services. In all, the Memorial Healthcare System invested nearly $40 million in western Palm Beach county, creating more than 50 full-time jobs, and providing residents easy access to services most often required in children’s healthcare.
“We are a specialized healthcare provider that compliments the level of care that local pediatricians offer in those situations where more complex treatments, services, and procedures are required,” said Caitlin Beck Stella, MPH, CEO of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. “We’ve brought expertise to Wellington in areas where doctors, community partners, and our own patients have confirmed there are needs.”
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center in Wellington was designed to be a ‘one-stop’ for parents of children requiring multi-disciplinary care, whether that be consultations with doctors, rehab visits, imaging, or surgical procedures. The facility has a classroom that can be utilized by parents or community groups, office space, and room to add more specialties in the time to come.
“There were more than 2,000 visits to our hospital in Hollywood last year by Palm Beach county residents, so we knew there was an opportunity to serve those families closer to home,” said Nina Beauchesne, executive vice president of east operations for Memorial Healthcare System. “Even those in Coral Springs and northern Broward may find it easier to come north for
follow-up care and medical services.”
The space in Wellington is split between an ambulatory surgical center and multiple specialty clinics. On the surgical side, there are two operating rooms (with room for a third), 12 pre or post-op patient areas, and imaging services. A rehab gym, which occupational and physical therapists use for kids with developmental issues, an audiology suite, examining rooms, and an area for U-18 sports therapy are some of what is included on the clinic side. “More than five years of planning went into the decision to build in Wellington and what to include on the site. We built a state-of-the-art facility to bring care where it’s needed and we’re in this community to stay,” said Dawn Quaranta, vice president, Palm Beach operations for Memorial Healthcare System.
Quaranta says that philosophy extends to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center in Wellington workforce, most of whom live in the area, as well as participation in civic organizations and sponsorship of community-focused events.
More than 35 patient appointments were scheduled on February 18, the day the facility opened, but even those not currently needing care will be able to tour the facility and meet its staff Saturday, March 16. An “Open House” will take place from 1:00-5:00 p.m. and include:
- 360° video booth
- Meet & greet with animated characters
- Food trucks
- Hoffman’s Chocolates
- Live DJ and entertainment
- Face-painters and jugglers
- Games and crafts
- Information on health and wellness
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center in Wellington is located at 3377 S. State Road 7, on 441 between Lake Worth Road and Forest Hill Boulevard, and can be reached at (561) 341-7000.