Alexian Brothers Health System has broken ground on a $117 million children's hospital on the campus of the system's St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Slated to open in 2013, the facility will be called Alexian Brothers Children's Hospital.
Alexian plans to move most of the pediatric services now offered at disparate locations at St. Alexius, into the children's hospital. This will enable Alexian to centralize pediatric services under one roof, making them more convenient and better coordinated for patients and families, according to Mark Frey, executive vice president of the Alexian system and chief executive of its Alexian Brothers Hospital Network division.
Plans call for pediatric inpatient services to move from St. Alexius to the Children's Hospital in 2013, and for obstetrical services to move to the new building by 2016. The neonatal intensive care unit will remain at St. Alexius.
St. Alexius plans to use the freed-up space to convert its remaining semiprivate adult hospital rooms to private. St. Alexius also plans to expand surgery areas, add operating rooms and put an express admission unit in the emergency department.
Frey said the northwest Chicago suburbs need the new children's hospital because other providers in the area have reduced or eliminated pediatric and obstetrical services in recent years. At the same time, the population has been growing, and the prevalence of childhood diseases has been increasing, explained Frey. For instance, he said, in 2010 the incidence of asthma in the northwest Chicago suburbs that the facility will serve increased to 15 of every 100 children from 11 of every 100 in 2007.
He noted that building a new children's hospital will help Alexian to retain and recruit in-demand pediatric specialists and subspecialists. Among the specialty services that the children's hospital will offer are neurology, behavioral pediatric care and maternal fetal medicine for high-risk moms-to-be.
Alexian has launched a $20 million fund-raising campaign to support the capital project. Some proceeds from the drive will go toward hiring child life specialists and clinical navigators to help coordinate complex care.
Copyright © 2011 by the Catholic Health Association
of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby
or call (314) 253-3477.