Last year, Children’s Hospital had more than 29,000 inpatient admissions; 24 percent of those children came from more than two hours away, and 20 percent stayed for at least five days.

To meet the needs of those families, CHOP’s Department of Patient and Family Services has added new employees, called hospitality navigators, who are based in the newest hospitality space, The Jill & Mark Fishman Center for Families, easily accessed just inside the Main Building’s entrance.

The multilingual hospitality navigators will help families arrange for transportation, secure nearby housing, and handle the other parts of life that keep going despite a child’s hospitalization. Families that anticipate an extended stay can even contact CHOP before they arrive and arrangements will be in place when they walk through the door.

“For some families, their child ends up being hospitalized for much longer than expected,” says Leanne Cimato, RN, Manager of Family Services. “Parents may want to go out to a restaurant or work out at a gym. They need to get their hair cut. Our hospitality navigators can connect them to all those types of services and make appointments or reservations.”

The Center for Families was designed to meet the needs of parents, who may need to check work email, take a conference call or recharge a device, and kids, who want to play. In addition, there’s a water station, loaner charging cords to take to the bedside and luggage storage — details that directly respond to feedback. “We asked families how we can make their stay at CHOP less stressful, and they identified these services,” Cimato says. “We’re committed to making their experience the best it can be.”