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2008 Judges' Award: Adopt-A-Room

Losing their young daughters to chronic childhood illnesses drove Brian Schepperle and David Millington to form Adopt-A-Room, a White Bear Lake, Minn.?based foundation that draws on corporate sponsorships and donations to remodel pediatric hospital rooms to help children and their parents better deal with their situations.

A trio of displays (one 50 inches, two 23 inches) is recessed into the room's "magic wall"-- a frosted glass panel, backlilt by LED lighting. Main sources include a DVD player and Xbox 360.

A trio of displays (one 50 inches, two 23 inches) is recessed into the room's "magic wall"-- a frosted glass panel, backlilt by LED lighting. Main sources include a DVD player and Xbox 360.

Credit: Graybow HD

LOSING THEIR YOUNG DAUGHTERS to chronic childhood illnesses drove Brian Schepperle and David Millington to form Adopt-A-Room, a White Bear Lake, Minn.–based foundation that draws on corporate sponsorships and donations to remodel pediatric hospital rooms to help children and their parents better deal with their situations. The University of Minnesota Fairview Children's Hospital provided three rooms that became two showcase Adopt-A-Room suites to test the concept with patients and exhibit to potential donors.

Graybow Communications Group's Loren Sposito learned of the project through friend and project architect Chuck Knight of Perkins + Will. “It was quite a special project, because I remember my sister being in the hospital with her daughter for so long,” Sposito says. Planning began when the various contractors and organizers met with a group of patients and their parents to choose the most-wanted features. AV consultants at Graybow then came up with a design.

“With this showcase room, we threw everything at it,” says Schepperle. “The whole intent was to keep patients stimulated. The kids that are engaged and stimulated by their environment and have some control of the room tend to forget about their current situation a little. Electronics and multimedia have a lot to do with that.”

Outside the suites is a nurse's station with a 17-inch AMX touch panel that controls the AV, lights, and temperature in the room, and a digital message board. A second AMX touch panel is mounted behind the hospital bed on an ICW arm, providing patients with the same room controls. “It instills a sense of privacy,” says Schepperle. Children can notify staff when they don't want to be disturbed, while the nurses can check charts or turn off lights without entering the room.

A “Magic Wall” in front of the bed contains two 23-inch LG LCD monitors and one 55-inch LG LCD, with video inputs for a Panasonic VCR/DVD player, Extron AVT-100N CATV tuner, game console, and Panasonic PTZ exterior color camera mounted on the building's roof, allowing the patient to view the exterior surroundings.

“Some of these kids can be in isolation for 60 to 90 days,” says Schepperle. “Having the camera up on the roof so they can explore the outside is important because they get claustrophobic.”

The suite also accommodates parents. A sliding glass door separates the children's area from a “home office” that includes a computer, Internet connection, fax, and another AMX touch panel.

The response has been so positive, the University of Minnesota plans to include nearly 100 Adopt-A-Room suites in its new children's hospital, which broke ground in May 2008.

AV INTEGRATOR

Graybow Communications Group, Golden Valley, Minn.

ARCHITECT

Perkins + Will, Minneapolis



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