SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Mercy officials, physicians, and co-workers along with many community members gathered today to celebrate the groundbreaking of Mercy Children’s Hospital Springfield. The groundbreaking coincided with Mercy’s Day of the Child, a day when the health system affirms its ongoing commitment to excellence in children’s health.
Mercy has been taking care of kids since 1827. Mercy’s founder, Catherine McAuley, began her healing ministry by serving the sick and poor children and women in Dublin, Ireland. McAuley couldn’t have imagined how highly specialized Mercy would become in caring for children.
The new children’s hospital will be a major redesign and renovation of the current East wing of Mercy Hospital Springfield. It will be completed in phases, floor by floor, with the 10-bedroom Ronald McDonald House on the sixth floor set for completion in the fall and the entire first floor by the end of this year.
Phase one is going to consist of 56,370 square feet of children’s services. The remodel consists of exterior updating of the façade in addition to the following:
The first floor of the children’s hospital will include the restructured Jane Pitt Pediatric Cancer Center which houses the St. Jude Mercy Affiliate Clinic for pediatric hematology/oncology and will expand to a 7,870 square foot space. Parents of these patients were asked to offer feedback and suggestions about the best environment for their children’s treatments.
“By listening to our patients and those taking care of them, we were able to modify the design of the Springfield cancer center,” said Cindy Beckham, who oversees facility design for Mercy. “We’ve built in choice for these kids – choice in where they sit, what they do during treatment and in how much they want to interact that day.”
The first floor will also include a child-friendly food service area, space for retail, a resource area with computer stations devoted to research and educational support, and the Teddy Bear Club which features classrooms and support services for expecting and new mothers.
The second floor, which is set for completion in the spring of 2013, will be used for pediatric outpatient testing and treatment as well as child life and support services.
This renovation of Mercy Children’s Hospital will add new services quickly in phases, to an already wide range of pediatric care. Mercy’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, pediatric intensive care unit, advanced pediatric trauma center and dedicated burn unit will join these other pediatric programs within this area of consolidated services focused on children.
“This facility will provide beautiful new space for our children’s hospital programs and will give us capacity to grow,” said Dr. Elizabeth Andrews, Mercy Clinic pediatrician and co-chair of pediatrics. “Mercy Children’s Hospital Springfield has been the pioneer of critical care, oncology, surgery, neurosurgery, endocrinology and ophthalmology for pediatric patients in this region, and we look forward to offering our line of subspecialties in this great space that kids will love.”
This convenient center for pediatric care is designed for future growth and new technologies. Plans for the remaining floors are still being developed as Mercy Children’s Hospital responds to meet the growing needs of the community.