NewsLocal News


Akron Children's Hospital's Rehabilitative Services expansion nearing completion

Posted at 3:05 PM, Dec 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-05 19:47:25-05

AKRON, Ohio — In 2019, Akron Children's Hospital began a $14 million renovation project of one of its busiest departments, Rehabilitative Services. Three phases are now complete and set to open to patients on Dec. 6, according to the hospital.

The Rehabilitative Services department provides audiology, speech, occupational and physical therapy to children of all ages due to developmental delays, traumatic injuries and those regaining skills after surgery or lengthy hospitalizations, the hospital says.

The expansion that took space from the former NICU, and added 22,000 square-feet to the front of the hospital, has easier accessibility and improves former mobility challenges allowing parents bringing their children to therapy the ability to drive up to the door of the department instead of crossing pedestrian bridges.

“We added four large group spaces, such as an adolescent gym with a regulation-size half-court basketball hoop, toddler and infant gyms, a realistic track (think track & field) that kids love and a large sensory integration room that kids view as a giant playground but is actually just a fun, child-friendly place to develop their skills,” said Chris Kwee, director of Rehabilitative Services.“

The space, just like the rest of the hospital is designed "Through the Eyes of a Child" with bright colors, colorful wall art created by children and interactive features. A new "inclusive" outdoor playground was specially designed for use in therapy for children with all abilities.

“Philanthropy played a major role in making this project happen,” said Shelly Brown, executive director of the Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation and vice president of Development. “The support for this hospital and families we serve is a defining characteristic of our community as evidenced by the $4 million we raised for this phase of the project. We are so grateful for the generosity of all of our donors committed to healthy futures for today’s patients.”

The Women’s Board of Akron Children’s Hospital, Cynthia Knight, First Energy Foundation, and MPB Charitable Foundation were among the lead donors.

According to hospital officials, a fourth phase is in the work to the rehab department which could include improvements to aquatic therapy and in-patient rooms.

Watch live and local news any time:

Weekend Debrief

Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.

You can also catch News 5 Cleveland on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live and more. We're also on Amazon Alexa devices. Learn more about our streaming options here.