MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital construction is underway and all is looking good for a June 2021 open.
That is according to Amy Bush, the chief operating officer of the hospital who said right now they are laying down the foundation. Bush said contractors had completed installing the tower crane last weekend and it marked a major milestone in the process. She said the next step is placing steel, and that people can expect to see that by the first half of December if mother nature cooperates.
Bush said she and the community are excited that the process is underway because the stand-alone hospital will be important to the region and state.
“We’ll have our own emergency department and all the things that you’d see, the pediatric unit, the in-patient unit, the pediatric ICU, the neonatal ICU,” Bush said. “But we really have a lot of subspecialty care as part of this new hospital for cancer, both in-patient and out-patient services, the infusion center where kids have cancer and they have to have chemotherapy.”
Bush said the 60 million dollar facility will have its own radiology department, pharmacy, cafeteria, chapel, gift shop and lots more. She said patients won’t even have to leave for surgery.
“We’re going to have our own operating rooms, we’re going to have where we can do neurosurgery, cardiac surgery, general surgery, neurology, orthopedic, all the surgeries that you would do so we’ll have our own operating rooms so you don’t go back to the adult side for surgical care,” Bush said.
Another aspect Bush said was important was the fact that newborns and their mothers can be treated under one roof in the new birthing center. She said babies and children will be taken care of in a space directly designed for them.
One of the things Bush said she was excited about was the top floor, which will be the family resource center. The center will have a game room, conference rooms for patients, their families and doctors to meet, a sibling’s room and lots more.
“We’ll have a school intervention program in the family resource center, a safety store, siblings room so if your sibling is in the hospital they can go up to a more fun play area if the child is well enough,” Bush said.
She said the hospital is not only focusing on the building but also on providing care in satellite locations. This will allow patients to stay closer to home and only come to the hospital if absolutely necessary.
“People do well when they can stay close to home when they have their families and friends nearby so to the extent that we can provide primary care or subspecialty visits in the home community and then people can come to the actual children’s hospital if there’s a more subspecialized need,” Bush said. “That’s our mission, it’s not completely within this children’s hospital but out into the community.”
Bush said these aspects will help parents because sometimes they just can’t leave the hospital even though they just need a break out of the actual patient room to reground themselves since extended stays can be stressful.
She said the hospital has raised more than $40 million of the total $60 million needed for completion, which means there are a lot of opportunities for people to sponsor a room or different portion of the hospital. Bush said it’s been a long time coming and that she was passionate about the project and excited to finally see construction underway.
Bush said people can take a virtual look at the building and encourages it.