When our new children’s hospital opens in early 2017, it will be the result of years of planning and careful execution. It takes a significant amount of effort to make the building work as designed−as a world-class health care facility that will elevate the patient and family experience. At the same time, it will enhance quality, safety, and efficiency.

Detailed plans need to be made about every aspect of operations. That’s where the hospital’s Transition and Activation Planning (TAP) groups come in. TAP groups began work in September 2014, more than two years before opening day. Joe Czerniak, project manager, is the transition leader.

The leader of each group is called a TAP captain. Captains usually have oversight for the areas in which they serve. TAP leads report to the TAP captains and work in those areas and have expertise related to the groups’ work. During the process, leads also oversee planning groups. These groups asked for input from a broad range of employees and other advisors.

The ultimate goal is to ensure that every detail about operations has been thought out. TAP leads meet regularly in working groups to develop workflows. Captains meet at oversight committee meetings. Working together, members problem solve, brainstorm, debate, and formulate details big and small.

TAP groups include:

Communications and Marketing

  • Captain and Lead: Cheryl Hodgson         

Diagnostic Services

  • Captain: Amy O’Deen
  • Leads: PDF iconJanet Roe and Heidi Nobiling

Patient and Family Experience       

  • Captain: Tami Pollari             
  • Leads: PDF iconRobin Hennes (Lobby, Rooftop, and Events Experience); Angie Otto and Stephanie Stewart (Patient and Family Flows); Janine Petitgout (Care Coordination); and Gwen Senio (Child Life)

Patient Care 

  • Captain: Jody Kurtt
  • Leads: Jackie Nelson and Angie Shalla

Patient Care and Support Services

Pharmacy Services        

  • Captain: Mike Brownlee
  • Leads: Frank Eischens and Dave Weetman


Staff and Physician Flows      

  • Captain: Joe Czerniak
  • Lead: Michael Baca

Staff Readiness    

  • Captains/Leads: Dave Bergeon and Sean Hesler

Support Services & Logistics

Surgical Services  

Technology Readiness  

Some of the questions TAP groups address include:

  • Which door will employees enter when they arrive to work? How will this decision affect traffic and patients?
  • What hours should the Safety Store be open to meet the needs of patients and families?
  • How will medication be dispensed to inpatient floors? To operating rooms?
  • What is the process for ordering meals, and how will dirty trays be returned?
  • How often and when will patient rooms be cleaned?
  • How and when will supply rooms be stocked?
  • What criteria will be used to assign patients to a certain floor?

It takes coordinated and thoughtful planning to make the transition from a hospital-within-a-hospital to a building focused on pediatric patients and families. During the planning process, periodic retreats are held to engage a broader group of stakeholders and ensure operating assumptions and plans are supported and feasible. 

The Carter Group, a consulting firm assisting with the transition, has also worked closely with the TAP groups to provide an outside perspective and expertise in transition planning.

The commitment, attention to detail, and focus on patients and families by all TAP groups will be evident when our new hospital opens.