Two new care units at Packard Children's
Young cancer and heart patients benefit from pediatric centers
The new Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases was designed to help patients like Peter Hanson.
Peter first came to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at the age of 2 to receive a heart transplant. By age 8 he had developed a very rare cancer, angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma. He needed a stem cell transplant, but he had a donor heart, meaning that any donated cells would have to be accepted by both his immune system and the heart.
Fortunately, just a few years earlier, pediatric stem cell transplant specialist Alice Bertaina, MD, PhD, had developed a new transplant technique that could help Peter. The method she developed, called alpha/beta T-cell depletion, enables doctors to use cells from a donor that aren’t a perfect match.
In alpha/beta T-cell depletion, technicians process stem cells from the donor to eliminate some immune cells that could prove problematic. Because of Bertaina’s technique, Peter’s mother was able to donate stem cells to her son. Today, Peter is a sophomore in high school who enjoys playing video games with friends, is practicing for his driver’s license and is thinking about his future.
The Bass Center, which opened at Packard Children’s in December, isn’t the only recent addition at the hospital. That same month, the hospital also opened a new outpatient clinic, part of the Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center, which focuses on cardiac care, neurodiagnostics and pulmonary diagnostics.
These developments are the latest in the children’s hospital’s campus expansion since the opening of the main building in December 2017.
“The opening of these care units is long anticipated,” said Kathy Bishop, RN, who was the clinical director of the Bass Center when it was under construction. “The design and the technologies employed are improving the coordination of care and safety for our most acute patients.”
Bass childhood cancer center
The newly designed, 65,000-square-foot Bass Center, which is housed on the fifth floor, strengthens the hospital’s capacity to care for children and young adults with cancer and blood disorders, as well as patients undergoing stem cell transplant. It includes 49 new private rooms along with shared patient spaces, all designed to improve quality of care and the patient experience.
Architects and hospital staff worked alongside patients and family caregivers in designing the fifth floor, making sure that the new space matches the hospital’s healing nature theme and that the patient rooms are spacious and bright with natural light. The rooms include sleeping accommodations for family members and have the latest technology, such as iPads, TVs and gaming consoles.
The floor features a playroom for patients and a special space for the adolescent population. These teens and young adults, who make up about half of Bass Center patients, now have access to a dedicated lounge called the Den, with computer stations and a big screen for movies and video games.
The center includes another feature that benefits children who have a compromised immune system: A positive-pressure ventilation system in the stem cell transplant unit keeps every room cleaner to prevent infections, meaning that patients and visitors don’t have to wear masks, gowns or booties.
Children’s heart clinic
The new children’s heart outpatient clinic, on the first floor of the hospital, is also making visits easier for patients and their families. Designed for efficiency and family-centered care, it includes a dedicated telehealth room for families that reside far from the hospital, as well as a real-time location services platform that tracks the patient’s journey through the clinic. The platform alerts staff to prolonged waiting periods and the locations of care providers within the clinic.
In addition, the heart clinic has consult rooms where family members and health care providers can converse privately about their care plan or discuss a diagnosis.
The clinic’s location eases the work of cardiac care specialists, as they can travel between the clinic and the surgery center or the cardiovascular intensive care unit without leaving the building.
Most important, the clinic expands the capacity of Stanford Children’s Health to treat more young heart patients. Patient visits now number nearly 10,000 annually, and surgeons perform more than 700 open-heart operations a year.