There's a new tenant in Kips Bay: Spot, a 30-foot-tall Dalmatian sculpture, the cherry on top the $6 billion NYU Langone Health expansion project.
"Spot embodies playfulness but also determination and dignity, which is really what's necessary," said Dr. Catherine Manno, the pediatrics chair of the Hassenfeld Children's Hospital at NYU Langone. "To get through an illness of childhood."
The 68-bed Hassenfeld Children's Hospital on 34th St. will be housed inside a new building called Kimmel Pavilion.
It will be the first dedicated children's hospital to grace lower Manhattan since St. Mary's Children's Hospital moved to Queens in 1951.
"I think that every large metropolitan area needs as many specialized children's beds as possible because there really are more children with significant disease, who are living through their childhood," Manno said.
All 375 patient rooms in Kimmel will be private, decked out with the latest in health care technology.
"Everything talks to each other and so create a better workflow," said Nader Mherabi, NYU Langone Health's chief information officer.
The "My Wall" system allows patients to access records, food menus, the lights, and even the blinds from their bed.
"Many of the features that we've incorporated into this building really are designed to allow nurses to have more direct time with patients. For example: the medicine cabinets outside the room," said Vicki Match Suna, NYU Langone Health's SVP of real estate and development. "This enables the nurse to have what they need right outside the room."
Entertainment, too, will be at a patient's fingertips. In addition, down the hall, within the children's hospital, are several play spaces.
Kimmel will also house a fleet of 31 robots to handle more mundane tasks.
"Such as deliver medication, deliver food, deliver linens, remove hazardous waste," Mherabi said.
The hospital's fleet of autonomous robots will not actually travel in patient hallways, but if you happen to cross the path of one of the machines, it will stop and go around you.
Institutions like NYU are banking on a greater patient experience and technology to carry them into the future.
"We're not a huge children's hospital, but we are an efficient children's hospital," Manno said. "With single-patient rooms, ed management will be much easier.
"Our real focus here is safety, efficiency, and comfort."
The Kimmel Pavilion and Children's Hospital are scheduled to open to the public June 24.