MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Leaders from WVU Medicine and the State of West Virginia gathered today (Sept. 24) on the campus of J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital to cut the ribbon on the new 150-bed, $215 million WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital, marking an historic moment that will revolutionize healthcare for the children and women of the state and region.
“‘Indescribable.’ That is the word that best captures our collective feelings as we open the doors of the new Children’s Hospital,” Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the WVU Health System, said. “This is a pivotal time for our organization and for pediatric care in West Virginia, and we are absolutely thrilled to present this new, state-of-the art Hospital to the people we serve.”
Plans to build the new Children’s Hospital were first announced in 2017 in response to the increasing demand for primary and specialty services for children and women. With more than 17,500 admission and observation cases annually, Children’s four care units were operating at an average daily capacity above 70 percent. At times, only one or two beds available were available. The ongoing escalation of cases required Children’s to grow to care for those in need.
“What excites us most is what our patients will find inside the new Hospital: a significantly larger care team that includes dozens of new pediatric specialists and subspecialists in a variety of disciplines from pediatric cardiothoracic surgery to pediatric neurosurgery; a best-in-class pediatric emergency department; the state’s only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit; and a world-class Birthing Center supported by an exceptionally talented team of providers who can handle the most routine and the most complex pregnancies,” Wright said. “Of course, there are many more services, but they will all share a common purpose: to care for our children and to make them healthy and whole.”
WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital is one of just 25 pediatric hospitals in the United States that is attached to a larger academic medical center. It was built on the premise of evidence-based design to create the ultimate healing environment with areas for the patient, the family, and the care team in each room. Noise control and pass throughs in the rooms limit disruptions to allow patients to get the rest they need.
The spa-like Birthing Center was designed to create a calming environment for expectant mothers. Of its 30 obstetrics rooms, seven have a labor tub. The Center includes its own operating rooms for cesarean sections, with large enough rooms to allow babies to stay in the same room as their mothers. It also includes an infant evaluation area and newborn nursery.
In addition to the Birthing Center, the new WVU Children’s Hospital features four other Centers of Excellence:
- the Blood Disorders and Cancer Center;
- the Critical Care and Trauma Center, home to the state’s only Level II pediatric trauma center with a Level I adult trauma center;
- the Heart Center, which houses West Virginia’s only cardiac surgery program and ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) program for patients with life-threatening heart and/or lung conditions; and
- the Neuroscience Center, home to the state’s only Pediatric Epilepsy Monitoring Unit and Pediatric Neuroimmunology Clinic.
Other features of the Hospital include:
- 17-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit with four beds for epilepsy monitoring
- Six-bed Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
- 50-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with four rooms for twins
- Operating rooms
- Advanced pediatric imaging
- Labs for cardiac catheterization, endoscopy, and interventional radiology
- On-site cafeteria, gift shop, medical office building, and pharmacy
“WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital is the culmination of many people’s dreams, aspirations, hard-work, and generosity,” Wright said. “From the countless doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who helped design it and guide its construction, to the talented and devoted trades people and technicians who put it together so magnificently, WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital is the collective effort of thousands, including an army of generous donors who helped breathe life into our dream. Never in my career have I seen a project galvanize and unite so many people.”
In addition to Wright, speakers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony included: Gordon Gee, president of WVU and chair of the WVU Health System and WVU Hospitals Boards of Directors; Michael A. Grace, Ed.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.H.E., president of WVU Hospitals; Amy L. Bush, B.S.N., M.B.A., R.N., C.N.O.R., chief administrative officer of WVU Medicine Children’s; Clay B. Marsh, M.D., chancellor and executive dean of WVU Health Sciences; Gov. Jim Justice; Sen. Joe Manchin; and Congressman David McKinley.
For more information on WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital, visit WVUKids.com.