Pediatric, skilled nursing home opens in Shoreline

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

All photos by TH Photography except as noted

On the eve of the COVID 19 pandemic construction started on the first 15-bed, pediatric skilled nursing facility in Washington State. 

Years had passed since the Ashley House Organization had the vision of serving medically fragile children, youth, young adults and their families in Washington State. 

Bridges to Home

With the perseverance of the Ashley House organization and the support of a network of hospitals and care centers, the complex and highly anticipated facility overcame regulatory and licensing obstacles to fill this need across the country.

Ashley House was created in 1989 by a small group of individuals who recognized that there was a gap in services available to medically fragile children and their families. Prior to the creation of Ashley House, medically fragile and complex children stayed in hospitals longer than necessary, resided in adult nursing homes or were placed out of state far away from their families. 

Main courtyard from entry

When children with severe medical diagnoses leave the hospital, they often still need complex medical care. Ashley House provides transition between hospital and home for children who require complex care. 

Until now their services were provided with renovated single-family homes that allow up to six kids.

Entry and Reception

Bridges to Home, the new 15-bed, pediatric skilled nursing facility in Shoreline Washington, is the first of its kind and will not only set a precedent for other facilities, it will allow Ashley House to provide the next level of care and provide needed support to acute care centers like Seattle Children's Hospital

Consultation Room

The design team focused on how the spaces would support care providers as well as how the facility would provide the best possible experience for families that are going through these incredible endeavors. 

“We wanted to provide some WOW factors as well as places of respite from the overwhelming weight of seeing a child connected to such intensive medical equipment,” the lead architect noted. 

The Common Room

The facility provides two outdoor courts for kids and their families to “get a breath of fresh air”, a beautiful common room with lots of activities for the kids, as well as a literal bridge at the main entry in the home-like environment.

Neighbors called the original residence "The Mansion" Photo from Google Maps

The project started as a non-conforming, over-sized, single-family home in the Echo Lake neighborhood of Shoreline. 

Gabbert Architects Planners, the lead for the design team, worked with the City of Shoreline to modify the land-use code to allow the facility in the residential zoning, as well as how the facility would comply with the other municipal code regulations.

Ashley House staff maintained close communication with the neighbors and the Echo Lake Neighborhood Association, all of whom were fully supportive of the project.

The facility can serve 15 patients

One particularly encumbering requirement was the parking regulation that required half of the twelve (12) required spaces to be within the building. This eliminated the potential to use the basement for patient care and required the project to provide a drive aisle through the single-family structure and back out to the street, without adding any more impervious surface to the already non-conforming site.

Gabbert Architects Planners also worked with the Washington State Department of Health to align the facility with the intent of the regulations created for adult or general skilled nursing facilities. 

Patient room

Because federal and state regulations are written for beds rather than cribs, many of the operational requirements were discussed considering the standard of care that Ashley House already provides in their other facilities and how it will work at the larger scale.

Nurses station from hall

Construction got underway just as the Covid 19 pandemic hit the economy. Given the severity of the virus and the fragility of the kids that Ashley House cares for, many adjustments were made to the already tightly designed facility that needed approval from many authorities.

Now the facility is open and can begin admitting patients who are ready to leave Children's but not ready for home. It truly is a Bridge.

Correction: Photos are by TH Photography


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