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Photos Andy Calvert

Harbin Clinic is a fixture in Northwest Georgia communities, constantly working to uphold the motto, “We Care Completely.” All who were involved in planning Harbin Clinic’s new pediatric facility took this motto into account, and it shows. “All the physicians here today took part in helping design the space, which is a lot more patient-friendly,” Dr. Todd Kelley, department chair for pediatrics at Harbin Clinic, says. “We just want to make sure we have enough space to appropriately see and care for patients, and to provide a safe space for them to come see their pediatrician.” 

The new facility, located at 85 John Maddox Connector, was designed with patients and their families in mind. It will house two pediatric practices: Harbin Clinic Pediatrics Rome and Harbin Clinic Pediatrics Rome Davis Sabino (formerly Harbin Clinic Ansley Park Pediatrics). With more exam rooms and centralized stations for doctors and nurses, this space will help to provide an excellent patient experience for patients of both practices.  

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Drs. Henaro Sabino and Melissa Davis

“Our team provides excellent, cutting-edge service to our patients, and we wanted to make sure that we had the facility that could properly accommodate those patients,” Dr. Melissa Davis of Davis Sabino says. “We are excited about making it child-friendly.” 

The design team considered ease of access from the moment patients arrive at the facility, making parking a major consideration in the design of this new space. It has a large parking area with easy access to the two-story, 40,900-square-foot building, which welcomes patients with large windows and a bright, open entryway. Kelley explains that an accessible entrance is especially important for parents of children in strollers and wheelchairs. “Patients will have a much better experience in the parking lot and getting into the building,” he says.  

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Inside the building, waiting areas at each practice are divided into separate spaces for sick patients, well patients, and one for newborns. “If your child’s well, we want them to stay well, and if they’re sick, we want to get them to the back as promptly as possible,” Davis says.  

According to Davis, this new space was designed with the goal of encouraging children to spend time in nature. “We wanted to bring nature into our practice, and the whole heart behind that is that we want children to be outside,” she says. “It is good for our physical and mental health, whether we are young or old.” This desire for a natural feel extended to building and décor choices throughout the facility. The Davis Sabino waiting room features glass dividers to represent water and mountains on the walls. Artwork throughout the practice will feature scenes of nature and children playing outside. “We want kids to get outside and really get that hour of exercise every day,” she says. 

Designers incorporated improvements for the physicians and team members into the new facility as well. In each practice’s space, exam rooms surround a centralized workstation that will increase efficiency and improve each team’s ability to work collaboratively. “We wanted there to be an open environment so that the members of our team could really work together well,” Davis says. “We needed enough room to get individual work done with good focus, but we wanted to have a very open environment, so that’s why our rooms are centered on a large open nursing and provider station.” 

Drs. Kathryn F Carroll, Henaro Sabino and Robersteen Howard
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Given that most health records are now stored electronically, the planners took electronic access into account when designing exam rooms in the new building. Doctors and nurses now have the ability to view patient records and order labs or medications from the exam rooms, again adding to the efficiency of the office. Davis and Kelley agree that this increased efficiency further improves the patient experience at Harbin Clinic Pediatrics. “This new office is not built for the doctors and nurses… It was really built for [the children]. I think the building is truly mirroring what they already know about our practice: that they are the priority,” she says. 

For these pediatricians, it’s important to maintain a space where their patients feel comfortable. “It is important to me that we know each of our patients by name,” Davis says. She explains that they include pictures in patient records to get to know the patients better, and they change the pictures as children grow.  

According to Davis and Kelley, patients and their families are already loving the new space. “All the feedback so far has been positive,” Kelley says. Davis adds that she has enjoyed seeing her patients make themselves at home in the space. “I had one little boy who brought his matchbox cars and had them lined up in the window ledge,” she says. “I was just glad he was moving in and making himself at home in his new doctor’s office.” 

Davis is excited that this new facility gives the practices an opportunity for growth. In the future, she and Dr. Henaro Sabino hope to expand their hours even further. They currently open at 7 a.m., giving parents the option to bring children in before school or work. Davis says that they eventually hope to expand their hours in the evening as well to provide even more availability for patients.  

After about a year of construction, the new facility opened for appointments on July 20, and Harbin team members and Rome community leaders gathered at the Harbin Clinic campus on August 18 for a ribbon cutting ceremony. Under a tent in the parking lot, community leaders spoke about Harbin Clinic’s importance in Rome and the benefits that this new pediatric facility will bring. The Honorable Bill Collins, mayor of Rome, said that he couldn’t imagine a better time for this building to be opening, and the Honorable Scotty Hancock, chairman of the Floyd County Commission, called the facility’s opening “a bright spot in a tough year.” Harbin CEO Kenna Stock thanked the physicians who have put so much work into their practices.  

“While the building is beautiful and we’re very proud of it, it’s really just the stage for the work that they do,” she says. “That’s where the heart of Harbin Clinic is.”