Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s campus master plan, first announced in 2005, has been revised and expanded. Architect’s renderings of the cornerstone of the plan -- a new main hospital building -- showcase expansion to 12 floors now encompassing 700,000 square feet (a 200,000 square foot increase from the original plan). Construction is slated to begin in 2008 with the new hospital opening in 2012, corresponding with the city’s bicentennial celebration. The expanded plan is expected to create 2,400 new hospital jobs, and a positive economic impact in excess of $1 billion. When completed, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is expected to be the second largest pediatric hospital and research center in America.
During the last two years, significant developments have provided the opportunity to expand plans for the new main hospital. Growing demand for inpatient and emergency department care has far exceeded projections used in the initial strategic planning process. In 1998, the hospital accommodated 400,000 patient visits which grew to 700,000 patient visits by 2005, now projected to increase to one million by 2012. In addition, acquisition of property by Nationwide Children’s Hospital on the west side of Parsons Avenue presented the option of developing an expanded campus toward Downtown Columbus. Thirdly, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) I70/I71 reconfiguration plan will establish Parsons Avenue as a primary gateway to Downtown Columbus via the south side, resulting in the need to reorient the hospital’s “front door” toward the west.
The campus master plan and new main hospital, currently valued at more than $800 million will add more than one million square feet of clinical and research space to the existing two million square-foot downtown campus. The expansion will be funded through a combination of internal support, bonds and philanthropy.
“This plan will have a major positive economic impact on the community, significantly contributing to the revitalization underway in our south side neighborhoods,” said Abigail Wexner, chairman of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Inc. and Nationwide Children’s Hospital Boards of Trustees. “This plan will create 2,400 permanent new jobs. In addition it offers us the opportunity to enhance quality of life issues in our community, such as the addition of six acres of green space to the current Livingston Park.”
“This plan will truly expand our capacity to transform the care we can provide for our children as our responsibility continues to grow,” Wexner continued. “Nationwide Children’s is a community treasure, providing pediatric care for 37 Central and Southeastern Ohio counties as well as to children from across the country and increasingly, the world. Our mission is clearly to deliver the highest level of care available anywhere for children regardless of a family’s ability to pay. Last year, Nationwide Children’s provided more than $50 million in uncompensated care and as the community grows, so does the need.”
Current plans for the new hospital will include:
*private patient rooms, designed with a family zone that includes enhanced sleeping accommodations for parents, expanded personal space, private showers and internet access; a patient zone with hidden medical equipment, individual room temperature control, and patient entertainment systems; and a care-giver zone with electronic medical records, state of the art monitoring, and access to all necessary patient care technology. When combined with renovation of existing facilities, the new main hospital will create a total estimated hospital capacity of 460 beds.
*an Emergency Department that will nearly double in size from the current 38-bed facility and will include increased support for Ohio’s first Level I Pediatric Trauma Center, as well as enhanced family support services, and dedicated specialty rooms such as child abuse assessment, and dental, eye and orthopedic emergencies.
*a new Hematology/Oncology/Blood and Marrow Transplant unit which will combine inpatient beds, outpatient clinic and “Day Hospital” into one convenient unit with 36 inpatient beds and 15 infusion beds; a new neurodiagnostics center to house 48 beds with EEG, sleep and inpatient services; and an entire floor of 30 beds devoted to pediatric intensive care patients with a second intensive care unit of 20 beds dedicated to heart and transplant care.
*a “performance space” which will include a theater with advanced audio-visual equipment and seating to accommodate wheelchairs and beds.
*six acres of park-like green space in front of the new hospital, adjacent to Livingston Park.
*family lounges on every floor, indoor and outdoor dining spaces, continuation of the on-demand room service for patients just introduced this year, and age-appropriate playrooms throughout the new hospital.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital representatives have been soliciting input throughout the planning process from the surrounding community concerning the hospital’s growth and enhancement opportunities for Southeast Columbus related to the I70/I71 ODOT reconfiguration, the redesign of Parsons Avenue, local road improvements, pedestrian safety, traffic flow enhancements and expanded hospital green space.
“We share with our neighbors a common commitment for a vibrant residential and commercial district in Southeast Columbus,” said Nationwide Children’s Hospital CEO Steve Allen, MD. “We are committed to joining with our community in exploring opportunities to improve and enhance where we work and live.”
Through expansion of programs, research and facilities, Nationwide Children’s has become one of the country’s five largest children’s hospitals treating patients from every U.S. state and more than 22 foreign countries with more than 700,000 patient visits in the past year. Nationwide Children’s is also home to one of the nation’s top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded free-standing pediatric research centers and The Ohio State University College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics.
“Our challenge is broad and encompassing and to meet it, we are investing across the board: the best doctors, best researchers, best staff, best facilities,” Allen said. “There is no shortcut to providing the best care to our children.”