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American Family Children's Hospital Begins Approval Process to Add Two Floors

Madison, Wisconsin - The governing board of University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics has approved the concept of constructing two additional floors at American Family Children's Hospital to house the most seriously ill children.

The project soon will begin the approval process in the Village of Shorewood Hills, where American Family Children's Hospital is located.

The board initially approved the addition of 26 critical care beds, including a 14-bed surgical neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), in existing sixth-floor space that was shelled when the hospital was built in 2007.

Since that time, new data and information on patient need, space and construction costs caused the board to look again at the building plans. UW Hospital CEO and President Donna Katen-Bahensky said that the board today affirmed that, in the long run, adding two floors and locating the NICU on the hospital's top floor would be safer and less disruptive for the youngest, sickest patients and their families.

"This further expansion provides the most prudent option to ensure uninterrupted care of fragile newborns," Katen-Bahensky said. "Adding two floors is also the most cost-effective way to add beds and services at the hospital that is now at capacity."

Locating the new surgical NICU and other critical care beds on the top floor would create the unit in its ultimate environment and eliminate the need to move surgical NICU patients to a temporary unit in the adult hospital during any future construction. Temporarily moving this unit during future construction would have potentially lasted 14 months and added an additional $2.3 million costs.

"The option of building two more floors is the safest option for very sick newborns and also prevents the closing of adult units to accommodate the NICU," Katen-Bahensky said. "Right now, there's a favorable construction market and our forecasts for patient volumes show the children's hospital would have been back at capacity soon after the sixth floor opened."

On February 20, Katen-Bahensky and American Family Children's Hospital Vice President Jeff Poltawsky announced the first phase of a 10-year strategic plan to expand the 61-bed children's hospital to 87 beds. The first phase of the campaign is called "Sick Kids Can't Wait" and includes a $15.6 million commitment from UW Hospital and Clinics and a private, $16.4 million fundraising campaign. The $13 million cost of adding the seventh and eighth floors would be a separate hospital investment.

In addition to the critical care beds, the plans include a dedicated pediatric imaging suite, a cardiac catheterization lab and interventional radiology and two additional operating rooms.

In addition to approval from the Village of Shorewood Hills, the City of Madison's Joint West Campus Area Committee will be consulting on the project. Finally, the UW Board of Regents will consider approval of the additional floor this spring/summer.

Construction within the existing facility is expected to begin later this year on the imaging suite, catheterization lab and operating room and could be completed in 2014.

Construction on the two additional floors would begin in August 2012. The surgical NICU and pediatric intensive care space is scheduled to open in April 2014.

More News About Sick Kids Can't Wait

Low-Dose Radiation Options at Children's Hospital

Double Your Impact Update: $2.09 Million Raised

American Family Children's Hospital Supporters 'Double Your Impact'

American Family Children's Hospital Begins Approval Process to Add Two Floors

American Family Children's Hospital to Expand


Date Published: 03/05/2012

News tag(s):  constructionskcw