Project manager has personal connection to patients at new outpatient center
Will Gaither said building the new Children's Hospital Kennedy Outpatient Center at Erlanger was a unique project.
Gaither, Senior Project Manager for McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. said, "a project like this can usually be built in a year and a half, but it took us just a little longer because of the unique nature of this project."
Unique to Gaither for a number of reasons including one that is very personal.
Gaither may be the project manager now, but 20 years ago, he was in a much different place, not sure what the future held.
Gaither said, "I also had cancer early in my life and spent a good bit of time in a children's hospital."
At 16, Gaither was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer.
"I was in the hospital off and on for a 13 month period of time taking chemotherapy treatment and multiple surgeries on my leg to get the bone healed," Gaither said.
Those experiences gave him an entirely different perspective on this project. It was much more than just a job to build a world class pediatric cancer and treatment center.
"Both of those combined makes this extra special to me personally because I really want projects like this to inspire other buildings around the country to change our children's lives," Gaither said.
A lot of care and thought went into building this children's outpatient center, making it as inviting and comfortable as possible. Gaither said looking back, he knows the extra attention to detail can help transform a child's experience during a very difficult time.
"If there are little ways to distract them and try to inspire some fun in that experience, it can make a huge difference.
"Seeing it now full circle, and we can actually transform the experience through the buildings we build is just really inspiring to me," Gaither added.
Gaither, who is 20 years cancer free, said everything from the color scheme to decorations such as pictures, even the smell of a building matters. He hopes the work done by his team and others inspires the patients and their families each time they walk through the doors.
"I'm very fortunate and blessed to be alive," Gaither said.
The new outpatient center will start seeing patients on December 17th.