Patch Adams is a doctor who believes, like Children of Fire, that happy children heal better.
Despite being hugely intelligent medically, he has no qualms about putting on silly costumes to make patients and nurses laugh.
We were honoured to have Dr Patch Adams clowning at Children of Fire in September 2010.
Children of Fire is Africa's first burns charity and is dedicated to sourcing medical treatment for young burn survivors, as well as promoting their emotional development. Over the years, the charity has helped hundreds of children and their families from across Africa deal with the often devastating consequences of injuries caused by burns.
We intend pushing the envelope by questioning and challenging the role that hospitals play in our communities, especially when it comes to the treatment of burns.
We plan on setting up an alternative facility for burns treatment in Southern Africa. The design of this "Place of Miracles" is of utmost importance as we are not merely putting up buildings, but creating a fun and loving environment in which to heal.
Patients will be treated with respect and compassion by doctors who care enough to live within this community. Imagine a scenario on a site of your choice to be a community where healing is an holistic experience, where emotional, mental and spiritual healing is just as important as physical, all infused with a Patch Adams sense of humour (www.patchadams.org).
There will be an amalgamation of all of the healing arts and medicine will be fully integrated with education and social services. The families of children will be encouraged to stay a few days and be a part of the recovery process. The key to the creation of this community will be the doctors and nurses choosing to live there.
Aesthetics is closely related to creating a therapeutic environment (homelike and attractive). A beautiful environment will contribute to better staff morale and patient care. Therefore special attention must be paid to proportions, colour and scale. Patient rooms, day rooms, consultation rooms and offices should be homelike and be on an intimate scale.
All buildings must be wheelchair accessible and disabled user friendly.
Design for adaptability of building design as user needs change. There may also be a need to build in stages.
The buildings must be environmentally sensitive, maximizing use of natural sunlight and ventilation and passive cooling.
Design for energy efficiency, using renewable sources of energy (e.g. solar and wind).
Every opportunity should be taken to incorporate recycled materials into the building, such as beams, flooring, bricks, doors, etc.
Designate an area for recyclable collection and storage that is appropriate and convenient. A compost site would be ideal.
The layout of the children's wards and spaces must be open to natural sunlight, be fun and functional. (A virtual tour of the Montefiore Children's hospital is highly recommended. www.montekids.org)
Design a "way finding" process. Patients, visitors and staff all need to know where they are, what their destination is and how to get there and return. A patient's sense of competence should be encouraged by making spaces easy to find, identify and use without asking for help. Building elements, colour, texture and pattern should all give cues, as well as artwork and signage.
Clear and well defined for emergency vehicles
Bus access from more than one external entrance
Prioritize parks and bikeways and paths throughout to encourage walking
Operating theatre complex
Three operating theatres
Post-op recovery rooms
Surgeons and nurses' changing rooms with shower facilities
Fresh burns ward
Allow for twenty beds, allowing for four single rooms and the rest being four bed bays.
Single and four bed bays to be en-suite.
Historic burns ward
Allow for thirty beds, allowing for six single rooms and the rest being four bed bays
Single and four bed bays to be en-suite.
Allow for ten single rooms, each socialized en-suite
For essential on-site testing and manufacture of prosthetics
Four counselling rooms
A kitchen where all meals will be prepared and appropriate store rooms
A large laundry for hospital linen and for staff/visitors to use
Visitors to the wards
Toilets and waiting area.
All wards to be designed with comfortable nursing stations with a view of all of the rooms and quick access to bedside
For children undergoing physiotherapy, and no longer need to be in the main ward. Allow for two, five bed bays with en suite.
A communal area and kitchen where meals can be prepared
Four couple units
Single self-catering chalet to sleep six.
Cottages for permanent staff
Eight family units
Fifteen couple units
Chalet-type housing for single members of staff to share. Three chalets each sleeping six. To be fully self-catering.
The above are to house surgeons, radiologists, nurses, anesthetists, maintenance staff, cleaners, cooks, teachers and security staff
Cottages for visiting staff
Six couple units.
Two chalets for medical students, each sleeping six, each to be fully self-catering.
Six offices and a boardroom
Toilets and kitchenette
Reception and waiting area
A lecture theatre to sit a minimum of sixty, that could also be used as a concert venue
An internet cafe for visitors
A small shop for snacks, magazines and simple supplies
Four classes of fifteen
Sensory playing ground
Two large studios where different art forms can be practiced
Four rooms for the different healing forms to be practiced, for example aroma therapy, reflexology.
Toilets and small kitchenette.
Rooms for the different faiths, incorporating aspects of respective faiths
Commitment and intention
This project will be solely funded by donations and work will start as soon as is practicable. By submitting ideas, one grants Children of Fire permission to develop the conceptual design into a deliverable and workable solution. Authorship of the original design ideas will be duly credited in all subsequent publicity material.