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Old 11-14-2006, 11:07 AM   #1
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Children's Hospital Expansion

Children's plans to Expand

Beds to increase by third amid growth in patients
By Christopher Rowland, Globe Staff | November 14, 2006

Children's Hospital Boston, where the lobby is often gridlocked with parents pushing baby strollers, says it needs to add one-third more beds within a decade.

To cope with steady growth in patient volume, the Harvard Medical School teaching hospital yesterday unveiled plans that call for 60 additional beds on two floors to be built atop its main hospital building by 2011. Five years after that, it plans to add capacity for 60 more beds in a 12-story patient-care center that will replace an old research lab slated to be torn down at the Longwood Medical Area campus.

Combined with 11 beds to be added this spring at the hospital's suburban Waltham campus, the expansion plan will boost total bed capacity by 2016 to 499 from 368.

The expansion is part of a national boom in construction at children's hospitals, which are attracting physician talent and patients at an accelerating rate. Hospitals in Denver, Seattle, Chicago, and elsewhere are part of the growth trend.

"There are a number of children's hospitals that have expanded in recent years, and more to come," said Lawrence McAndrews , chief executive of the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions , a nonprofit trade and lobbying group in Alexandria, Va.

Pediatric inpatient volumes are declining nationally, causing community hospitals to drop specialized pediatric care and fueling a consolidation in the large city institutions, McAndrews said.

"The bigger places are getting bigger," he said.

The rooms are growing, too. Double-occupancy rooms at Children's Hospital are being eliminated in favor of singles, and the size of an average pediatric intensive-care unit has doubled to accommodate new equipment, from 130 to 260 square feet.

And there is another reason why added space is needed at the hospital: more scientific research funded by the National Institutes of Health .

The hospital plans to build an 18-story research laboratory, an underground parking garage with 350 spaces to handle traffic flowing into the congested Longwood Medical Area , and a below-ground utility plant to provide heat and electricity for the growing complex.

Hospital officials said the expansion will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but they do not yet have a more precise estimate. The new facilities will complement a $160 million hospital expansion and a $160 million lab building that were recently completed.

Most of the work is subject to approval by the Boston Redevelopment Authority -- which will study traffic congestion, building heights, and the lengths of shadows new structures will cast -- and the state Department of Public Health , which must approve the economic rationale behind new hospital beds and major expansions.

Children's said its overall square footage will increase by 136,000, not including the 18-story laboratory building, which has already been approved by the city under an earlier development plan.

"Despite the addition of much-needed new clinical and research space over the past few years, there is still a need for more updated and accessible facilities to care for these children and their families," said James Mandell , Children's Hospital's chief executive.

The hospital also is working to expand its capacity at facilities outside the city to minimize the traffic crunch at the Longwood site, and to make it more convenient for suburban residents to receive medical care. Although it creates logistical challenges for doctors who have to travel out of Boston to see patients, hospital officials said, they need to move as much care as possible to Children's Hospital facilities in Waltham and Peabody, and to the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, and South Shore Hospital in Weymouth.

That will allow the Longwood hospital to focus on cases that require the most intensive treatment, such as children and adolescents with multiple conditions and serious problems like heart defects. Still, the hospital plans to maintain primary care and basic services for Boston residents, said Sandra Fenwick , chief operating officer.

"We're playing at all levels," Fenwick said. "We see our role as embedded in the community, while also serving a regional, national, and international population."

Children's is frequently at or near capacity, with an average occupancy rate of 84 percent. Even though it added intensive care unit beds this year, it has still been forced to send 152 patients to pediatric intensive care units at other hospitals, including Boston Medical Center, Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts-New England Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and children's hospitals out of state. The number of "turnaways" were 38 percent greater than in 2005, when there were 110, the hospital said.

Christopher Rowland can be reached at
? Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.

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Old 03-03-2016, 12:39 PM   #2
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Re: Children's Hospital Expansion

They should go back to some updated variation on this plan to build over the driveway instead of building on the Prouty Garden to save a few bucks.

Build Here:

Last edited by tangent; 03-03-2016 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:57 AM   #3
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Re: Children's Hospital Expansion

Terrible to lose that.

In 15 years they'll be right back. 'we don't have enough space.'
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Old 01-13-2017, 04:20 PM   #4
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Re: Children's Hospital Expansion

Did something happen that revived this post?
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