Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Construction Update: USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital

The University of South Alabama Children’s & Women’s Hospital is nearing the final stages of a five-level expansion that will nearly double the hospital’s size.

The $72.6 million expansion will address patient care needs as well as enhance services provided for families, visitors and hospital staff.

Hospital administrator Owen Bailey said Phase I construction is in the final phase and should be completed by this summer.

According to Bailey, the expansion features more space for the hospital’s neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, additional operating rooms and large patient rooms to better accommodate visitors and families. Vital support services such as a large cafeteria and kitchen, along with space for professional teaching and community education, are also included in the expansion.

Highlights of Phase I of the expansion include:

• Enlarging the Hollis J. Wiseman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), adding 12 private NICU rooms (including five new isolation rooms), and a Progressive Care area for up to 16 babies

The Progressive Care area ties into the existing NICU and has six skylights that provide natural lighting.
• Relocating and expanding the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, adding six beds to the current 14-bed unit, while the PICU’s overall size will nearly triple to 13,500 square feet
• Surgical Services will relocate and increase from 11,000 to 41,000 square feet and Surgical Recovery will grow from five to 15 beds
• New five-room Epilepsy Monitoring Unit
• New third floor will include an infant unit and a toddler/preschool unit
• New fourth floor will include a school-age/adolescent unit and a hematology/oncology unit
• Pharmacy will relocate and expand from 2,300 to 3,700 square feet
• Pediatric and Adolescent floors will increase from 27,000 to 57,000 square feet, with the number of beds growing from 53 to 68
The new, large pediatric rooms are located on the third and fourth floors of the expansion. Each room has a computer for electronic medical records, which allows the hallways to be clutter free.

The hospital's expansion was built around centrally located nurse stations, which help keep noise and activity to a minimum for the patients.
The expansion features a new dining area that is four times larger than the current cafeteria. The new dining area, which seats up to 140 people, is available for hospital visitors and staff.
Additional highlights of the expansion include a new Class Act Room. Class Act is a K-12 program staffed by Mobile County Public Schools teachers that enables children to continue their education while hospitalized.

In addition, the hospital's expansion will house two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, an extension of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mobile. The Family Rooms will be located on the third and fourth floors of the new hospital tower and will give families a break from the hospital environment while remaining merely steps away from their child's bedside.

Each Family Room is equipped with a kitchenette, comfortable furniture, a television, private restroom, shower, laundry facilities, and internet connection.

According to Bailey, Phase II of the hospital's expansion is a smaller, but visible phase that will go into 2014. Phase II includes demolishing the old kitchen and dining room, building a new gift shop, renovating the existing lobby, and creating the courtyard space between the two patient towers.

For updates on activities at USA Children's & Women's Hospital, visit the hospital's Facebook page here.

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