Senior Superintendent Dave Kenney with Lauren, a Kid of the Quarter at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Photo courtesy of GE Johnson Construction Co.

A new children’s hospital being built in Colorado Springs, Colo., is on track for its spring 2019 completion. GE Johnson Construction Co., the project contractor, states that there are many people to thank for that, including its smallest helpers on-site.

The 280,000-square-foot Children’s Hospital Colorado (CHCO) is being built with the help of a few young patients, thanks to a collaborative initiative between GE Johnson and the hospital called the Kid of the Quarter program.

“Each quarter, one child — either a current or former CHCO patient — is selected as Kid of the Quarter,” explains Laura Rinker, GE Johnson communications director. “They are then welcomed onto the job site where they are introduced to every worker on-site and taught about safety, construction processes, machinery and equipment, and all aspects of construction.”

The hospital will be the first dedicated pediatric hospital in Southern Colorado. It will house intensive care units — including a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) — medical-surgical inpatient rooms, surgical suites and an emergency department.

So far, five children have had the honor of being dubbed Kid of the Quarter, which means their photos and stories are posted prominently on the job site, giving the construction workers and leaders a daily reminder of why the project is so important. The initiative also allows the kids to contribute to building a hospital for an organization that has made a big difference in their quality of life. Kids of the Quarter have helped to install door frames on the NICU floor, place a corner wall and even sign and install a pipe for an operating room.

“The message of the Kid of the Quarter program is that the hospital will truly belong to its patients,” Rinker says. “The collected effort of every worker and team leader is geared toward delivering a healing environment that every patient can feel proud of.”