For Immediate Release
Ann Miller, Media Relations (727) 767-8592
Young Patients' Dreams Meet The Drawing Board
All Children's Announces Plan for New Hospital & Outpatient Complex
(January 21, 2004) St. Petersburg, FL – All Children's Hospital today announced plans for the most ambitious expansion project in its history. The plans will lead to construction of a new hospital and adjacent outpatient services complex with nearly a million square feet of space. The announcement took place at a "Drawing Board Gallery" on the hospital's former playground, where hospital staff, physicians and donors celebrated with members of the "design team" --- young patients and their parents who contributed their design concepts in the form of colorful drawings of what a children's hospital should be.
"Family input is crucial to the success of this new hospital," says Gary Carnes, President and CEO of All Children's Health System. "We know that the needs of our patients and families have changed in the more than 37 years since we moved to our current site. All Children's has become a regional referral center for the most complex children's healthcare services. Families with seriously ill children are traveling farther, staying in the hospital longer --- and are in even greater need of some of the comforts of home. Likewise, the medical teams and technology required to deliver this care have outgrown any further renovations we might make to our existing hospital. The community has been well served by the current All Children's Hospital that it helped to build. We're counting on the community to see that a new All Children's Hospital is a worthwhile investment in the future of healthcare for all our kids."
Most of the project's public areas and patient care units are still in the design phase, with input being sought from the physicians, staff, patients and families who will use them. But some broader details are already firm. The $270-million project will take shape on property already owned by All Children's at the corner of 6th Avenue and 6th Street South, just two blocks from its existing facility. The centerpiece of this new complex will be an eight-story children's hospital with 240 patient room. All patient rooms will be private and spacious, averaging 80% larger than the current private/semi-private rooms. Each will be equipped with TV including movies and computer games, a private bathroom and shower, and a place for both parents to sleep. Centralized family space on each patient unit will provide internet connection to TLContact, where families can create web pages for friends to check on the patient's condition and communicate their "get well" wishes. There will also be space within the hospital for a Family Resource Library where parents can learn more about their child's condition, and for additional services from the Suncoast Ronald McDonald House (both respite spaces and in-hospital overnight accommodations are currently under discussion).
The new hospital's operating rooms will be larger than the hospital's existing suites to accommodate new technologies including intra-operative MRI. And an integrated Outpatient Care Center immediately adjacent to the hospital will house a full array of outpatient diagnostics (MRI, open MRI, CT and PET/CT), rehabilitative & therapy services as well as doctors' offices for outpatient visits. And covered parking for 1,000 vehicles is planned, adjoining both the hospital and the outpatient center.
All Children's cooperative program in perinatology with neighboring Bayfront Medical Center will also have a new home within the expanded hospital. "It will be like a hospital within a hospital," said Sue Brody, President and CEO of Bayfront Medical Center. "Now all babies, regardless of their health will remain with their mothers throughout their stay. Currently, high-risk babies are transferred from Bayfront to All Children's following their birth, while the mother remains at Bayfront."
Two full floors of the planned hospital are devoted to coordinated care for mothers and newborns. One floor will be leased by Bayfront Medical Center to house its Women & Children's Center, including a Labor & Delivery unit and OB/GYN services. A Well-Baby nursery will also share this floor under Bayfront's direction. The other floor will be home to All Children's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, for the highly specialized (Level 2 & Level 3) care that has become a hallmark of All Children' Hospital.
On the first floor, there will be an enlarged Pediatric Emergency Room Trauma Center, with a separate landing area for helicopter transport and a pedestrian walkway bridge to the Emergency/Trauma Unit at Bayfront Medical Center. The expanded space builds upon the two hospitals' ongoing success as a state-approved Joint Trauma Center.
In addition to expanded pediatric intensive care units, plans call for a separate Pediatric Cardiovascular ICU, devoted to the pre- and post-operative care of young heart surgery/heart transplant patients who come to All Children's from all over the state of Florida.
The projected price for this new facility is approximately $270 million. The pediatric healthcare leadership at All Children's Hospital has been planning for these expenditures, through a combination of cash reserves, past gifts, a new bond issue and a capital campaign with the theme, "Building Miracles - One Child at a Time."
"Together, we can build miracles," Carnes says. "The community has been there for All Children's through years of annual support. If we are true to our mission, this should be the last hospital that All Children's will ever need to build. Its design includes room for expansion for decades to come. And during that time, it is our goal to research cures and to advocate changes that will eliminate the reasons so many children face hospitalization today. That's a lofty goal, but attainable, with community support. It's a miracle we can build together, one child at a time."