ST. LOUIS — With St. Louis Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanksi offering a blessing and children who have been patients scooping ceremonial shovels of dirt, SSM Health announced on Sept. 28 plans to replace SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis.
The new 14-story tower will be just down the street from the existing hospital, southwest of downtown. It will stay on the same campus as SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, which moved to a newly built tower next to its old one in 2020.
SSM Health, based in St. Louis, expects the construction of the children's hospital to be completed in 2027. The new hospital will have 200 inpatient beds, five more than the current hospital. SSM Health did not release an estimate of the project's cost or details on plans for the current hospital.
Laura Kaiser, SSM Health president and CEO, noted that when Cardinal Glennon opened in 1956 it was the nation's first freestanding not-for-profit Catholic pediatric hospital. "The opportunity to design a new facility in present day allows us to create spaces that better support children and their families with complex medical conditions," she said.
The new hospital will offer expanded and enhanced services, including in neonatal intensive, cancer, cardiology and dialysis care. It will continue as an academic medical center affiliated with the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
Two of the speakers extolling plans for the new hospital at the groundbreaking were 14-year-old Jimmy Williams and his mother, Shana. Jimmy underwent a heart transplant at Cardinal Glennon four years ago, a surgery that he said gave him "a second chance at life."
His mother praised the hospital's caregivers, who she described as a second family, for the compassion and encouragement they showered on the family. "This hospital will mean so much to countless children and their families," Shana Williams said. "It will continue a legacy of saving lives, just as it did for my Jimmy."