MADISON, Wisconsin — American Family Children’s Hospital is expanding to meet the demand for highly specialized pediatric care. UW Hospital and Clinics CEO and President Donna Katen-Bahensky announced a 10-year strategic plan to complete American Family Children’s Hospital on the UW Health campus.
“I’m thankful that our community generously helped us build and open the American Family Children’s Hospital,” Katen-Bahensky said. “Our ongoing community partnership will assure children and families that there will always be room for them at the children’s hospital.”
The first phase of the strategic plan, called “Sick Kids Can’t Wait,” will add 26 critical-care beds, imaging and heart services at the children’s hospital.
The initial expansion projects will be supported by a combination of a $15.6-million hospital investment and a private $16.4-million fundraising campaign. To date, $6.5 million in private funding has been raised, but an additional $9.9 million is needed to complete phase one of the 10-year plan.
Children’s hospital Vice President Jeff Poltawsky said that since the children’s hospital was opened in 2007, there have been nearly 600,000 patient visits to the hospital and clinics. The 61-bed hospital is near capacity and demand continues to increase as the population, and the reputation of the hospital, grow. During peak times, some pediatric patients are admitted to a seven-bed overflow unit within UW Hospital. After the phase one expansion, the children’s hospital would have a total of 87 beds.
Of the total 87 beds, 26 new critical care beds will be added. A new high-acuity surgical neonatal intensive care unit will have 14 beds. The remaining 12 beds would be for pediatric intensive care patients, but could be adjusted during high-volume periods for any level of care.
“The hospital is seeing increasingly sicker patients with very complicated medical and surgical needs,” Poltawsky said. “In fact, today, some babies from our region have to be transferred to metropolitan areas often significant distances from their homes to receive surgical neonatal intensive care.”
The new American Family Children’s Hospital surgical NICU will be designed for the very sickest newborns (0 to 30 days old) that need complex surgeries not offered anywhere else in the region. The NICU will provide on-site, round-the-clock access to more than 150 physicians from 28 pediatric specialties for babies who need advanced services close to home.
The plans also include a cardiac catheterization and interventional radiology suite dedicated to the needs of infants, children and adolescents who need specialized heart and vascular care, as well as a dedicated pediatric imaging suite that will offer state-of-the-art, magnetic resonance imaging and computerized tomography with fast, low-dose imaging.
In both cases, patients who need cardiac catheterization or imaging are currently seen in the adult hospital where they share the same resources with busy departments also at capacity. Two additional operating rooms will be equipped and recovery room space expanded. After the project is completed, American Family Children’s Hospital will have eight pediatric operating rooms.
Construction of the first phase is expected to begin later this year with completion scheduled in 2014. An expansion of the pediatric emergency department has been identified as a longer-term need in the plan to complete the vision of the children’s hospital.