Stanford Medicine Newsletter Updates For the Local Community


Packard expansion focused on family-centered care

The redesigned Packard Children’s Hospital expansion features extensive gardens and energy-efficient systems in a layout that reflects the look and feel of the original building.


Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital has moved a step closer to realizing plans for its coming expansion. The project will add 521,000 square feet of space and 104 pediatric hospital beds in a new five-story building at the corner of Welch and Quarry roads, connected to the current Packard Children’s facility. Architectural renderings for the project were unveiled in August.

“Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital has an acute shortage of beds and needs to expand in order to further our mission of providing family-centered care for our patients,” said Mark Tortorich, vice president for planning design and construction at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Packard Children’s.

Because routine pediatric injuries and illnesses are increasingly treated on an outpatient basis, a greater number of Packard Children’s patients now require long hospital stays for serious medical problems, Tortorich explained. The expansion also will help accommodate the needs of the growing local population, including pregnant women who seek out the hospital’s world-class obstetric care.

Response to feedback

The new architectural renderings depict the evolution of a hospital design unveiled in April. In response to feedback from hospital and community stakeholders, the design has been modified to incorporate more environmentally friendly features, more garden space and a change from curved to rectangular building shapes to better reflect the look and feel of the original Packard Children’s building. The new five-story design takes up less land and will facilitate faster, more comfortable transport of patients through the hospital. In total, the changes will save approximately $15 million in construction costs and make the facility more efficient to operate.

Packard Children’s expansion is part of the Stanford University Medical Center Renewal Project. The project, which also involves construction of a new Stanford Hospital and the replacement of outdated medical facilities at Stanford University School of Medicine, currently is going through the entitlement process with the City of Palo Alto.

Plans for cutting the carbon footprint of the new Packard Children’s building include photo-voltaic solar panels to generate electricity and a solar water-heating system to help meet the hospital’s significant demands for hot water. The building layout and materials will maximize heating and cooling efficiency; for instance, the south and west sides of the building are shaded, and an energy-efficient displacement ventilation system will control building temperatures.

“We’re proud to be incorporating these forward-thinking elements of ‘green’ design into our plans,” Tortorich said.

All patient areas will be accessible to natural light, and the garden space around the hospital and at the corner of Welch and Quarry roads will be landscaped with drought-resistant California native plants. Linked gardens will connect the current hospital to the new structure to provide ample outdoor space for patients and their families to enjoy.

With families in mind

The large expansion also will enable Packard Children’s to accommodate the new national standard of single-patient rooms, a change that improves patient privacy and infection control, and makes it easier for family members to stay with their children overnight. The extra space will foster families’ involvement in all aspects of treatment and recovery, a practice known as family-centered care.

Larger patient rooms also provide the space needed for sophisticated modern medical equipment. And the new building will include more clinic space; additional surgical, diagnostic and treatment rooms; and larger facilities for nursing, support and administrative offices.

After the expansion, both pediatric and adult patients will benefit from a significantly enlarged Emergency Department that will jointly serve Packard Children’s and Stanford Hospital. Last year, due to Emergency Department overcrowding, 950 emergency patients left before they could be seen, and many more had to be routed to other hospitals.

Because the Stanford/Packard Emergency Department is the only location between San Francisco and San Jose to offer Level 1 trauma care, the expansion will greatly improve the local community’s ability to obtain top-notch care for severe injuries.

“Planning a new hospital is a very complex undertaking,” said Tortorich. “We believe our new design will do a great job of meeting the needs of our patients and the local community, and will help Packard Children’s continue to contribute to medical research that improves the lives of patients here and around the world.”

“We believe our new design will do a great job of meeting the needs of our patients and the local community, and will help Packard Children’s continue to contribute to medical research that improves the lives of patients here and around the world.”
—Mark Tortorich, VP for planning design and construction

For more information about the expansion at Packard Children’s and the plans for the medical center, please see the project’s Web site,

Footer Links: