Growth Spurt

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Teacher Mary Laurens Seely helps Tyler Rowland with his studies at the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital School, where young patients keep up with schoolwork. Photo by Dana Johnson

Like most 4-year-olds, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is growing like a weed. Although the free-standing hospital was just completed in 2004, Vanderbilt in January obtained approval from the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency to move forward with expansion.

“We have seen tremendous growth in the number of children treated at our hospital,” says Dr. Kevin Churchwell, CEO of Children’s Hospital. “This growth has led to our hospital being at full capacity most of the year.”

Since opening its doors the hospital has seen an increase in discharges of 37 percent, patient days of 31 percent, operative procedures of 53 percent, emergency visits of 31 percent, and clinic visits of 45 percent.

The total cost of the eight-story addition is projected to be approximately $203 million, with groundbreaking in 2009 and construction completed in 2012. The expanded building will connect to the existing hospital to the east, including the adjacent block of Medical Center

Drive and the space currently occupied by the Vanderbilt Dayani Center for Health and Wellness, which is slated to relocate to the developing 100 Oaks campus.

The new building will house 190 new and relocated obstetrical, pediatric and neonatal intensive care beds. Obstetrical and NICU beds currently in the main hospital will be relocated to the new building.

The total number of licensed beds for the Medical Center will increase to 1,051.

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