Kennedy Krieger Institute Opens New State-Of-The-Art Outpatient Center in Baltimore

Anonymous's picture
May 19, 2009
Patient, family and staff ideas create healing environment designed to improve patient experience and outcomes

(Baltimore, MD) - Kennedy Krieger Institute announced today the opening of a new state-of-the-art Outpatient Center that will improve and expand services to children and young adults with developmental disabilities and spinal cord injuries in the Baltimore/Washington region and across the nation. The 115,000 square foot center includes features, such as aquatic therapy pools and a therapeutic garden, which create new opportunities to care for patients with a range of disabilities in innovative ways. All clinics and programs began seeing patients in the new center today, and a public grand opening celebration will be held on Thursday, May 28.

Located in the newly constructed Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building, the center was designed for and by the people who use it the most-patients, families, and staff. Throughout the process, Kennedy Krieger and architecture firm Stanley Beaman & Sears placed a strong emphasis on soliciting input from these stakeholders to help shape the building's design.

The Outpatient Center and Weinberg Building were funded by $35 million raised as part of Unlocking Potential: The Campaign for Kennedy Krieger Institute. Leadership gifts were made by many, including The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, James Keelty III and family, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur B. Modell, and Mr. and Mrs. Fred F. Mirmiran. The Campaign also raised $20 million to expand research and programs across the Institute, such as those for autism, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy and brain injury.

The following elements were incorporated into the building's design:

Therapeutic Garden

The majority of a Baltimore city block was transformed into an outdoor therapeutic garden to promote healing in a natural, aesthetically pleasing environment. The Garden includes a labyrinth and three therapy "rooms" where therapists can help patients practice real-world challenges, such as going up a curb, maneuvering a tight ramp in a wheel chair, walking up and down differently-sized steps, and traversing various surfaces from concrete to pebbles to grass.

Aquatic Therapy Center

With a floor of its own, the aquatic therapy center allows patients to escape the limitations of gravity as they learn new skills and undergo therapy for a traumatic injury or developmental disability. Two pools are equipped with underwater treadmills, video systems, sensory temperature controls and hydraulic lifts that allow the floors to be raised and lowered for easy access by patients in wheelchairs.

Quality Patient Care

Over 7,500 square feet is solely dedicated to rehabilitative therapy gyms, allowing physical therapy, occupational therapy and advanced restorative therapy to take place in open, expansive spaces with the most state-of-the-art technologies for treating patients with disabilities. Collaborative work spaces for staff and an intentional building layout ensures teams of clinicians are physically closer to each other to best facilitate multidisciplinary care for patients.

Healing Environments

Aside from new technologies and physical features, the center incorporates several interior design components to promote healing and improve the patient experience. A dramatic use of color builds from the green of the ground floor to the sky blue of the top floor, and natural light floods nearly every space.


The Institute incorporated green elements into the building's design to increase efficiency and reduce energy usage. Stanley Beaman & Sears and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company utilized different materials to incorporate environmentally-friendly elements into the building, including different kinds of glass that absorb less heat, carpet tiles that can be individually replaced if necessary, and energy efficient lights and transformers.

The grand opening event will be held at 801 North Broadway on Thursday, May 28 at 10 a.m. Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D - MD) are all expected to speak at the event. For more information, please call 443-923-7300.

To learn more about the new Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building through architectural illustrations of the facility and a photo gallery chronicling the construction, please visit

About the Kennedy Krieger Institute

Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and adolescents with disorders and injuries of the brain and spinal cord, the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD serves more than 13,000 individuals each year through inpatient and outpatient clinics, home and community services and school-based programs. Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children with developmental concerns mild to severe, and is home to a team of investigators who are contributing to the understanding of how disorders develop while pioneering new interventions and earlier diagnosis. For more information on Kennedy Krieger Institute, visit

About Stanley Beaman & Sears

Stanley Beaman & Sears is an architecture & interiors firm specializing in facilities for healthcare and higher education, with a special focus on facilities for children. In addition to Kennedy Krieger Institute, the firm has designed facilities for other prestigious institutions, such as the University of Virginia, the University of Chicago, Emory University, and others.

About The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company

Whiting-Turner, with headquarters in Baltimore and 27 offices nationwide, is proudly celebrating 100 years in business. The firm is a respected provider of construction management and general contracting services, and is ranked 7th in the nation in healthcare construction by Engineering News Record.


Shellie Byrum

Receive Updates

Stay informed with the latest news and announcements from Kennedy Krieger.


Read inspiring stories, news and updates about the Institute's patient care, research, special education, professional training, and community programs.


Resource Finder


A free resource that provides access to information and support for individuals and families living with developmental disabilities.