Next Saturday, take a few minutes to tour the newest addition to Richland County health care offerings.

Akron Children’s Hospital brings together pediatric primary care, urgent care, nearly a dozen of its most in-demand pediatric specialty care practices, and rehabilitation services in one conveniently-located medical building at 1029 S. Trimble Rd.

The Akron Children’s Mansfield Health Center is one of several such centers planned throughout the region, recognizing the priority parents place on having the highest quality pediatric care for their children in a convenient location, close to home.

The 32,400 square-foot center is set to open on March 26 (Urgent Care a day earlier). Akron Children’s will consolidate services currently offered at multiple Richland County locations in this one location, such as the Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics (ACHP) offices on Balgreen Drive in Mansfield and 4th Street in Ontario.

“It’s a true privilege for us to serve families in Richland and surrounding counties and we are excited to open this beautiful new building,” said Grace Wakulchik, president and CEO of Akron Children’s. “But even more than the space, we value the relationships that will blossom here – the relationships between parents and children and the doctors, nurses and therapists who have devoted their careers to caring for children. One of the promises made by the volunteers who founded Akron Children’s nearly 130 years ago is to treat every child as if he or she was our own.”

Open house set for March 23

The public is invited to tour the new facility on Saturday, March 23 from 9:30 AM to noon. This event is free and will include family entertainment, a scavenger hunt for kids, a raffle and light refreshments. The ribbon cutting is at 11 AM.

Easy access, easy wayfinding

When patient families enter the building, they will immediately notice an abundance of natural light, and the child-friendly colors and artwork, including a whimsical audio-kinetic sculpture by contemporary artist George Rhoads, whose “Incrediball Circus 2” has delighted children in the lobby of Akron Children’s main campus for nearly three decades. Wall murals pay homage to Richland County’s character and charm with images of farmland, race cars and a carousel.

Greeters will be on hand to direct families to their appointment or they can opt to check themselves in at a kiosk. The four clearly-marked directions will point families to:

  • Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics – This pediatric primary care practice – blending the two existing Richland County ACHP offices – is a medical home for babies, children and teens staffed by board-certified pediatricians, nurse practitioners and pediatric nurses. The practice also has a full-time mental health specialist, available to help with concerns such as depression and anxiety. The phone number is 419-522-3341.
  • Urgent Care – Urgent care pediatricians treat common illnesses and minor injuries, such as nausea, earache, coughs and fever, during convenient weekday and weekend hours. This service is moving from the Cline Avenue location. Hours are 2 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  If parents are unsure of whether their child should be taken to an ER versus Urgent Care, here’s a helpful guide:
  • Pediatric Specialty Care –  Pediatric specialists in allergy/immunology, cardiology, gastroenterology, hemostasis and thrombosis, nephrology, orthopedics and urology will be available at this location with convenient access to diagnostic tools such as cardiac ultrasound, x-ray, echocardiography and EKG. Each specialty will see patients on regularly scheduled days and times by appointment only.
  • Maternal Fetal Medicine – Akron Children’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Center cares for women during high-risk pregnancies. This includes women at risk due to advanced maternal age, diabetes, obesity or a chronic health condition, as well as when the baby is diagnosed with spina bifida, congenital heart disease or another condition that requires special care during and immediately after birth.
  • Radiology and Laboratory Medicine –  Whether it is taking an X-ray on an infant or drawing blood from a toddler, radiology and lab clinicians always take a child-friendly approach, while following pediatric best practices such as using the most minimal dose of radiation according to “Image Gently” guidelines.
  • Rehabilitative Services – Akron Children’s team of physical, occupational and speech therapists help children get back to the things they love to do after surgery, cancer treatment, or a traumatic injury. They also help expand skills and improve quality of life for children with chronic illnesses. With all types of toys and special equipment, this workspace is fun and “gym-like” with special zones for fine and gross motor therapies, speech therapy and children who need help with sensory integration. An indoor track connects to an outdoor path for patients learning or re-gaining skills with walkers, trikes and bikes.

The Akron Children’s Health Center in Mansfield is the first of three such centers to open in 2019. The other health centers are under construction in North Canton and Boston Heights. A fourth is planned for Portage County.

Photo: Akron Children’s Hospital

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