Children’s Memorial Hospital, currently located in Lincoln Park,announced June 20 that it will build a replacement hospital onNorthwestern’s Chicago campus.
The board of directors voted unanimously for the construction of the new facility, which will cost up to $800 million. Groundbreaking for the new facility will be in 2008. Children’s Memorial Hospital currently serves as the primary pediatric teaching hospital for the Feinberg School of Medicine.
Children’s employs nearly 500 faculty members in the Feinberg’s department of pediatrics and is the training facility for 83 pediatrics residents and fellows. Medical students at Feinberg must complete their pediatrics rotations at Children’s.
The move will place Children’s at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Superior Street, next to Feinberg and other medical institutions. It will be just west of Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s new Prentice Women’s Hospital, opening fall 2007. The new location will improve transitional care for patients with congenital problems and children with chronic illnesses.
While the proximity to other medical facilities will aid Children’s, especially the obstetrics department at Northwestern Memorial, which will help develop a fetal medicine program, one concern is that the move will cause Children’s to be a part of the “Northwestern Memorialempire.”
According to the hospital’s news release, “Children’s Memorial is committed to maintaining its identity as an independent, freestanding children’s hospital.”
Children’s now can treat 9,000 patients annually. The newhospital will allow for the staff to treat 12,000 patients a year.
The new hospital is expected to open in 2012. It will have 275 private single-bed rooms. Each room will likely feature wireless Internet access, a flat-screen TV and on-demand movies and games, as other new children’s hospitals do.
The second phase of the construction is planned for 2017. The hospital will add an additional 38 acute-care beds and 30 outpatient treatment beds, eight for clinical research and 22 for observation, for a total of 343 beds.
– Emmet Sullivan