Our Success Stories

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

T

he Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital Receives Honors for Outstanding Commitment to Service Excellence Award


Parents who bring their children to The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJH) in New Brunswick, New Jersey, take comfort in having access to top doctors and nurses and advanced pediatric care.

Children, however, tend to be more impressed by the talking giraffe in the lobby that tells you your height, or the video games in each private patient room.

With a whimsical design, kid-friendly menu, private rooms with video games, library, lounge and more, the children’s hospital is filled with details that help soften the ordeal of hospitalization for children and their families.

Many of the thoughtful details present in the hospital grew out of efforts to involve parents during the hospital’s design phase. The hospital established a family advisory committee whose input helped guide project architects and interior designers, resulting in things like daybeds in each room where parents can spend the night, large closets, a lockable cabinet in the bathroom for medications and personal effects, and easy access to washers and dryers.

The hospital also operates a family resource center with books, games and a professional librarian who can help families research health information, and classroom facilities where teachers and tutors can visit to help students keep up with their studies.

Beneath the children’s hospital’s brightly colored surface is a firm belief by the staff that promoting a child’s psychological well-being can help them get well faster. Crucial to that effort is the work of child life specialists, specially trained experts in child development who attend to the psychological and emotional needs of hospitalized children.

Child life specialists help children cope with the hospital experience by teaching them about hospitalization, illness and injury, preparing children for surgery and treatment, as well as working with siblings and other family members. Child life specialists work in all units of the children’s hospital, including the hospital’s pediatric emergency department, helping parents and children understand and get ready for procedures, and providing emotional support.

They also oversee a wide range of day-to-day activities to help young patients better cope with their hospital stay through things like therapeutic play and self-expression activities, art therapy, pet therapy, parties and more.

All of this helps explain why the children’s hospital recently was recognized as one of the best in the nation.  In the US News & World Report rankings issued in May 2018, and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at RWJ University Hospital was ranked sixth in the country. 

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has supported the children’s hospital since 2000 with a goal to help bring to life the collective vision of many people to create a comprehensive pediatric health campus in downtown New Brunswick.  In 2007, the hospital opened three Bristol-Myers Squibb Centers of Excellence for children with metabolic disorders, rheumatic diseases and immunological and infectious diseases. The health care providers and researchers in these centers provide specialized care to children who suffer from a complex array of chronic diseases that can be challenging to diagnose and manage.