On June 4, seven current and former WVU Medicine Children’s patients grabbed a shovel and a hard hat to turn some dirt at a ceremonial groundbreaking for a $150-million hospital that will revolutionize the care of women and children in West Virginia and the region.

Current and former patients shoveling dirt to break ground for the new WVU Medicine Children's
From left to right: Larkin Coker, 8, of Morgantown; Brody Wilmoth, 10, of Morgantown; Ziler Hawkins, 6, of South Charleston; Jeff Hostetler; Tyler Yost, 10, of Fairmont; Adyson Stalder, 10, of Sardis, Ohio; Ivy Martin, 6, of Morgantown; and Reilly Albertson, 11, of Fairmont break ground for the new home of WVU Medicine Children's.

Hundreds turned out for the event, which featured these speakers:

  • Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO, WVU Medicine-West Virginia University Health System
  • J. Philip Saul, MD, executive vice president for WVU Medicine Children’s
  • Dana Holgorsen, WVU football coach and co-chair of the WVU Medicine Children’s capital campaign (read a press release about the campaign)
  • Gordon Gee, WVU president and chair of the WVU Medicine-West Virginia University Health System Board of Directors

“This is our moment,” Dr. Saul said. “We’re already the center for specialty care to high-risk mothers, premature infants, and children with life-threatening conditions through adolescent to adulthood. The need for our services is growing at such a rapid pace that the creation of this hospital is a must.”

Artist's rendering of the new tower for WVU Medicine Children'sThe 155-bed, eight-story facility is scheduled to be completed in 2020. The tower will include:

  • Entry, registration, administration, and building services
  • Diagnostic imaging and a laboratory
  • Two connections to the Southeast Tower (the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute)
  • Operating rooms, cardiac catheterization, and endoscopy facilities
  • A 25-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and sedation unit
  • A 61-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • A 39-bed pediatric acute care unit
  • A 30-bed obstetrical unit with potential for expansion
  • A medical office building, including Pediatric subspecialty and Maternal-Fetal Medicine clinics

All of the inpatient rooms will be private, except for 11 NICU rooms for twins. The tower will also include inpatient and outpatient pharmacy facilities and a cafeteria.

“As spectacular as the building will be, it won’t compare to the miracles that will happen inside,” Holgorsen said.

The West Virginia Health Care Authority approved a Certificate of Need for the project last month.