CHOC's renovation of ward 286
Posted: 25 Aug 2015
In 2014, the CHOC Gauteng South Region undertook a full-scale refurbishment of the children’s oncology ward 286 for in-patients, at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH). Prior to this CHOC was involved with an upgrade of the day clinic, Ward 294.
Former regional manager, and current programme development manager at head office, Adri Ludick, explains: “One of our programmes is to work in close liaison with the medical team and to ensure that the paediatric oncology units are warm, child-friendly places. Upgrades and renovations of these units is not our core business. So CHOC only embarks on these kinds of projects once funding to cover the costs of core programmes is in place.”
So how did this renovation come about? Well, a few years previously the Cows, who fundraise for CHOC, had sponsored an extensive upgrade and renovation of the paediatric oncology ward at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (Bara), also overseen by the Gauteng South Region, which took two years.
Inspired by how beautiful the transformation was, two members of the Cows, Sean and Shelley Roberts, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money to renovate the CMJAH paediatric day clinic, Ward 294, because their child had been treated there. But the ward still needed to be upgraded and the hospital did not have funds to allocate. Neither did CHOC.
“Since we did not have the capital to upgrade the entire ward, my vision was to embark on the renovation one room at a time. So I spoke to Piet Boer of Boogertman + Partners – the same firm that had been involved in the Bara upgrade – and requested that they scope the costs of each room individually,” says Ludick.
Boogertman + Partners did far more than that. In early 2014, after involving Erika Raubenheimer of their interior design division, the firm presented a complete project for the ward. It was breath-taking but CHOC hadn’t raised the funds yet.
However, the project started to gain momentum, as CHOC had meetings over the next months and sponsors came on board. Boogertman agreed to be responsible for the project management, MMQS came on board to provide the quantity surveying and costings, and Tiber Construction would sponsor the construction, although funding for the materials needed to be sourced. Other sponsors also joined, such as Italtile and Cobra.
Proposals were sent out and soon sponsors such as Bidvest and Growth Point started pledging their support and it was not long before over R700 000 had been raised. Donations continued to pour in from parents, the CHOC network, the Cows and corporate sponsors, in the form of funding and in-kind donations, ultimately reaching the value of R2.2 million.
From having not once cent for the project at the beginning of 2014, with the help of committed sponsors the dream of creating a flagship ward for paediatric oncology units nationwide was realised and the six-month-long renovation went ahead. The hospital had approved a temporary ward where the children where moved during this time.
Finally, on Tuesday 9 December, CHOC and the donors proudly handed the new state-of-the-art ward to hospital CEO, Ms Gladys Bogoshi.
Between 600 and 800 patients are admitted to the day clinic, ward 294, per month whilst the in-patient ward 286, which currently has 26 beds, is home to children in the battle against cancer.