Upstate News

September 22, 2003
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

University Hospital plans $84 million vertical expansion

University Hospital has announced plans for an $84 million vertical addition that would feature the Central New York Children’s Hospital and new patient care space for cardiovascular, neurology and oncology services.

Plans for the children’s hospital, which would be housed on the top two floors of the six-story addition, call for 50 private patient rooms, family sleep and dining as well as playrooms and a family resource center among other amenities. The addition will increase the amount of space dedicated to pediatric medicine at University Hospital from 18,000 square feet to 87,000 square feet.

“This community has long desired to have a children’s hospital that would strengthen and streamline the medical care offered to children and their families,” said Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D., president of SUNY Upstate Medical University, of which University Hospital is affiliated. “Thanks to efforts of many in our community and the staff of University Hospital this project is moving closer each day to becoming a reality.”

While the Children’s Hospital will be a highlight of the proposed vertical expansion, upgrades to other patient care areas are especially noteworthy, Eastwood said. “The areas of cardiovascular, neurology and oncology are an integral part of SUNY Upstate’s strategic mission,” he said.

Each of the floors dedicated to cardiovascular, neurology and oncology will include 46 private patient rooms with private baths and space to accommodate an overnight stay by a family member. Some special care areas, such as the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, will feature anterooms to guard against infection.

“This project represents the largest renovation of University Hospital since it opened in 1965,” said University Hospital Executive Director Ben Moore. “It provides for the most modern patient care setting in the region.”

Tom Welch, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics, said the children’s hospital will enable physicians, nurses and other members of the pediatric medical team to deliver care in a setting that is family-friendly. “Children aren’t just small adults,” he said. “They need specialized medical care and surroundings that support their needs. The children’s hospital will make that happen.”

University Hospital is already a regional leader in pediatric care, offering the area’s only pediatric emergency room in addition to pediatric open heart surgery, pediatric critical, anesthesia and specialized surgery, plus a full range of pediatric medical specialties.

University Hospital received the authority to finance the construction through bonding earlier this year when the governor and legislature approved bonding legislation. The hospital recently submitted its plans to the state Health Department for final review and approval.

Planning for the project could take between 12 to 18 months before construction begins. The addition is expected to be completed by December 2007.

Editor’s note: Photo illustration of the proposed addition are available and can be emailed. Please call 315-464-4828 to request the illustrations.

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