Behind the scenes: Anna Shaw Children's Institute
Overview of the project and space
Dedicated to the memory of Anna Sue Shaw, Anna Shaw Children’s Institute is a leader of care for children who experience the challenges of developmental delays. The Institute is built in the style of a treehouse with every detail designed to provide an inviting, comfortable place. Children and families are able to receive diagnoses, treatment, therapy services, and support all under one roof.
What was the design vision for the space?
The architectural and design team wanted the center to look whimsical, fun, and natural—a space that looked less like a medical facility and more like a playground.
“We wanted to look like it was always here in northwest Georgia - so we incorporated lots of natural light and glass. Exam rooms and treatment rooms all have natural light and beautiful views of nature.” - Terri Woodruff, MS, APRN, CPNP-PC, and Executive Director of ASCI
How was design used to improve care?
In designing healthcare environments, small changes can make a big difference in comfort and quality of care. Terri Woodruff, pediatric nurse practitioner, knew this, so the team started the design process by assembling an advisory council of 20 parents of local children with developmental delays. Then, they followed up by visiting other children’s hospitals to learn best practices and aspirations for their own care center.
“The most important part of designing effective healthcare facilities is including real people who will use the space.” - Terri Woodruff, MS, APRN, CPNP-PC, and Executive Director of ASCI
Some of the design details that the team implemented included: an aquatic care facility, muted colors to calm children, and patterned carpet that both intrigues kids and provides intuitive wayfinding. Details like these make children feel more comfortable and excited to come to the facility, and support parents by ensuring the highest quality care.
“The CEO of Hamilton Health empowered us to fully dive into caregiving, saying: ‘Be aware of research, but focus on care, because this is a care center.’” - Terri Woodruff, MS, APRN, CPNP-PC, and Executive Director of ASCI
How did the new space impact guests/employees/patients after completion?
This space truly changes lives. Parents and kids alike are met with shock and awe at progress and opportunities that they hadn’t considered—all because caregivers at Anna Shaw Children’s Institute primarily focus on what these children can do if given proper treatment.
“I love that our team looks at what a child can do. They talk about their strengths, or about how the family can make simple accommodations to make the child feel successful. They do discuss challenges, but focus on the positives.” - Terri Woodruff, MS, APRN, CPNP-PC, and Executive Director of ASCI
“Parents are so grateful because their world changes from chaos to peace and freedom. Kids are suddenly able to participate in school, to communicate effectively, and enjoy life. Small changes completely affect the quality of life for both the kids and their parents.” - Terri Woodruff, MS, APRN, CPNP-PC, and Executive Director of ASCI