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Children’s Hospital Expansion Begins

Construction set to begin March 7

February 24, 2011 | Christiana E. Sanchez

Preparations are being made to begin construction of the planned expansion to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Construction is set to begin on two previously announced expansion projects at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, including a 30,000 square-foot-addition and added space for pediatric clinics.

The construction is part of a multi-phase, multi-year expansion to ease the growing regional demand for care at Children’s Hospital since it opened in 2004. The initial phase creating additional bed space sets in motion a strategy for future, broader expansions.

The larger project, a five-story, $30 million addition atop the third floor surgery pre-op and recovery areas, will allow for 33 additional acute, neonatal intensive care and medical-surgical beds. At the same time, work will begin to develop a vacant 20,000-square-foot area on the 10th floor of the Doctor’s Office Tower (DOT) to create more space for clinical services.

The groundwork for the DOT project is under way, while preparatory work for the expansion is slated to begin March 7. The estimated construction duration of both projects is 12 months, and will be carried out by Balfour Beatty Construction.

“The expansion allows us to continue to provide the high quality of care that we strive to afford to all our patients and families,” said Luke Gregory, chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital. “We are working to discover new cures, offer better treatments to our patients and give hope to the families who walk through our doors every day.”

In addition to the expansion project, an extra $20 million in investments also is planned for programmatic enhancements that focus on the three childhood diseases most prevalent in Middle Tennessee — childhood cancer, childhood heart disease and prematurity.

“The opportunity to expand our capacity to care for patients and families will be transformative,” said Jonathan Gitlin, M.D., chair of Pediatrics and assistant vice chancellor for Child and Maternal Health. “We are deeply grateful to Vanderbilt and the community for this support.”

The new five-story facility will increase capacity to accommodate premature babies who are transferred to Children’s Hospital from outlying hospitals. The added neonatal, acute care and medical-surgical beds will be adjacent to and an extension of the existing building’s fourth through eighth floors.

Also, growth will be seen in multiple programs, including the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program, the Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care and Congenital Heart Disease programs. Currently, Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in Middle Tennessee to offer these services.

Vanderbilt will continue to recruit top physician scientists to care for the region’s youngest patients as well as to conduct innovative research for new cures. The 11-story DOT, adjacent to Children’s Hospital, is home to the pediatric clinics and houses many of the physicians.

Several clinics will see a significant increase in space with the DOT project.

Once finished, the new space on the 10th floor will be home to the Pediatric Pulmonary Clinic, the Pediatric Nephrology Clinic and the Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition clinic.

The moves will create vacant space on other floors, allowing for growth in Pediatric Plastic Surgery on the ninth floor and the Pediatric Heart Institute on the fifth floor.

John W. Brock III, M.D., surgeon-in-chief for Children’s Hospital, said the state-of-the-art facilities offers children improved access to outstanding medical and surgical services.

“It is truly an exciting day to see the arrival of the construction elevator for DOT 10 and the cranes for the expansion project,” said Brock. “These allow us to go forward in serving our children and their families while alleviating some of the space issues we are having with increased volumes. We are all excited about the future at Children’s Hospital.”

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