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Plans Unveiled for Gayle and Tom Benson Ochsner Children’s Hospital in New Orleans

The state-of-the-art building, designed by lead architecture firm HOK with local partner Rozas Ward, will reflect the caliber of Louisiana’s top-ranked pediatric program.

Louisiana’s No. 1 children’s hospital will soon have a new home thanks to a transformational gift from Gayle Benson, owner of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.

The five-story, 343,000-sq.-ft. building will be constructed at Ochsner Medical Center-New Orleans next to the existing hospital building. Pediatric specialists with Ochsner Health worked alongside HOK and Rozas Ward architects to design the new facility.

“This new space will provide an ideal pediatric and family experience that focuses on each child’s personalized medical needs and their emotional and psychological well-being, said Dr. Vincent Adolph, chief medical officer for Ochsner Children’s Hospital. “It will have everything for kids in one place, designed just for them and their caregivers.”

The Gayle and Tom Benson Ochsner Children’s Hospital is designed to have a child-friendly and welcoming atmosphere, with colorful and engaging decor, age-appropriate accommodations, and an efficient, easy-to-navigate layout.

  • Each floor is themed after an animal native to the Gulf South, with natural sunlight pouring in through large windows.
  • Designed as a family destination, parents and caregivers will find respite in areas including open air patios, kitchens, lounges, family resource centers, and private rooms.
  • The placement of departments, guided by patient and provider movement routes, reflect Ochsner Children’s collaborative care approach. The new organization of space speeds up time-sensitive processes and better enables multidisciplinary care teams to work seamlessly together, improving patient experiences and outcomes.
  • Wayfinding, in the form of imaginative and colorful signage and other elements, ensures patients get where they need to go using the shortest, easiest routes possible.

“HOK is proud to contribute our pediatric healthcare and design expertise in collaboration with the remarkable team at Ochsner Children’s Hospital,” said HOK Healthcare Practice Leader Karen Freeman. “This new home for Ochsner will provide an environment that matches its nationally-recognized care for pediatric patients and families throughout Louisiana and the Gulf South.”

Ochsner Children’s new home will have a children’s-only emergency department, with significant enhancements to critical care, operating rooms, and imaging capacity and proximity. A level IV surgical Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) will enable highly specialized care for babies who need surgery. More broadly, the new space will allow Louisiana’s top children’s hospital to expand access to its leading treatments and highly sought out specialties and subspecialties.

Ochsner Children’s expects to break ground in mid-2024 and open the doors to its new home in late 2027.

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