The 3-Month Countdown… Let the Sneak Peeks Begin

Meet Our Animal FriendsSnail Animal Friend

It’s hard to believe but 90 days from tomorrow, on June 20th, we will open our doors to the new 12-story hospital tower. After six years of planning and construction, it will be a magical day for all of us. It’s unfortunate that children need our services, but we’ve created a very special place for them and their families.

With that in mind, for my Little Things readers, I’ll be giving you special sneak peeks inside the new hospital. I continue to be amazed by the attention to detail that has gone into every aspect of design.

Let’s start today with a look at our larger-than-life animal friends. Nature is a key theme in the new hospital because it’s proven to be so beneficial in healing environments. Consider these hand-carved wooden animal friends, many up to six feet tall, as our goodwill ambassadors.

Children will be greeted by the animals, Turtle Animal Friend all Ohio native wild life, throughout the main lobby and then on each hospital floor. Each of these whimsical characters is being hand-created by an artist at the Carousel Works here in Mansfield Ohio and they all have a special story to tell. Our squirrel has been gathering buckeyes and acorns, the bunny is a gardener with flowers, we have a superhero bear cub and even a medal-winning athletic snail.

The full-size carvings take months to make and each is created through several generations of clay and then small-scale wood models. What’s truly magical is to see children interact with the animals. They will provide a destination to encourage post-surgical walks and a special friend to share hugs and secrets with (yes, I’ve already seen a child being held up by his mom so he can whisper in the squirrel’s ear). I know these woodland animals will quickly become special friends to our patients (and a favorite of our staff)

Exciting times are ahead – please let me know what questions about the new hospital and I’ll be happy to address them.

Donna Teach
Donna Teach is Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Nationwide Children's. Her job is to help the hospital feel "connected" – Connected to each other, connected to our patients and their families, referring physicians, the community and the world.

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