After 19 months of construction and preparation, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach officially opened its brand-new 80,000 sq. ft. outpatient specialty building on the hospital campus called the Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village.

Many children have more than one health issue, which previously required families to travel to various specialty medical offices scattered around Long Beach. Now, more than 30 different types of specialty physicians and a variety of medical services, such as a pharmacy, laboratory and imaging services, are all centralized in the Children’s Village.

“Because children’s hospitals are unique, we serve larger geographic regions than adult hospitals,” says Graham Tse, M.D., chief medical officer, Miller Children’s & Women’s. “We wanted to make the health care experience more convenient and efficient for the thousands of children and families across the region who require specialized pediatric care in our outpatient setting each year, which is what we have done with the Children’s Village.”

The opening was celebrated with a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Feb. 12. Those watching heard remarks from hospital leaders, patients and their families, and elected officials, including Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, about how this new building will change the way families access health care.

From the very early concepts, Miller Children’s & Women’s enlisted input from the patients and families who would utilize the services offered in the building.

“We have been fortunate to be part of this project by incorporating the patient and family voice by partnering with staff to ensure a positive experience for everyone,” says Maria Andrade, parent of Miller Children’s & Women’s patient Elias. “Having the Children’s Village in our community ensures that the care we receive in the hospital extends to the outpatient setting. As partners in care for our children, this new building will make all the difference in the quality of care that they receive.”

Miller Children’s & Women’s will see its first patient in the Children’s Village on Monday, Feb. 22.