April 18, 2020

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children Sports Center Transformed Into Alternative Care Site

Large, open spaces in hospitals and outpatient buildings are being used for low acuity patient care.

Normally filled with physical therapy and rehabilitation equipment, the gym at Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is now a care site for non-coronavirus patients if a nearby hospital is experience a surge of COVID-19 patients.

The Nemours expansion was designed by members of our FKP/CannonDesign Health Practice and opened in 2014.

The Nemours gym is one of two alternate care sites in New Castle County in Delaware. It is reserved only if hospitals are overwhelmed, and will care for low acuity patients, such as those needing long-term medications.

“I never imagined having to set this (up),” Dr. Christopher Raab, the site’s medical director and a pediatrician at Nemours, told the Delaware News Journal. “Normally, this room is chock full of big, heavy equipment, and that was gone in a day. To see the physical transformation of this room is amazing.”

This is the second time this space has been transformed. The old space used to be a basketball court and our team worked to redesign the space and convert it into a multiuse space. Basketball is still being played in the space but now they also have three therapy rooms and an open gym for physical therapy and rehabilitation.

All patients entering the site would need a negative coronavirus test. No visitors are allowed, as with most healthcare facilities across the country, and even the number of doctors allowed onsite is limited.

“When push comes to shove, the medical community always rises up,” Raab said. “You do whatever you have to do to help the people in front of you, and that’s a fantastic feeling.”