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St. Petersburg's New All Children's Hospital Will Open This Week

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 6, 2010

The $403 million All Children's Hospital complex in St. Petersburg, FL, will open on Saturday morning, the culmination of a major construction project that began in May 2005.

The 10-story, pediatric specialty hospital, located two blocks from the old hospital, is the central focus of the complex, which also includes a seven-story outpatient care center, a 700-space parking garage, and a central energy plant designed to keep the hospital fully functional for up to three weeks during a disaster or power interruption.

The move to the new hospital will start at about 6 a.m. on Saturday, when All Children's care teams will transport the hospitalized youngsters and their parents to the new facility.

The new hospital and outpatient care center will provide nearly one million square feet of space devoted to pediatric healthcare. Virtually all of the hospital's 259 licensed beds will be in individual rooms.

The third floor of the new All Children's has been leased to Bayfront Medical Center, which will operate its labor & delivery suites and a well-baby nursery under the name Bayfront Baby Place.

Other key features of the new hospital include the 97-bed All Children's Hospital Guild Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Occupying an entire floor of the new hospital, the NICU is one of the largest in the southeastern United States. It was made possible by a $4-million gift from the hospital's nine Guild branches across Florida's Suncoast.

The Walmart & Sam's Club Emergency Center, which is on the hospital's first floor, more than triples the size of All Children's existing pediatric emergency center. It was made possible by a $5 million pledge from 10,000 Walmart, Sam's Club, Super Center, and Distribution Center employees in west central Florida.

The Vinny Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer & Blood Disorders Center will occupy half of the hospital's seventh floor. Designed with a positive pressure environmental system, the center will allow patients whose immune systems are compromised by disease, treatment or transplant to avoid isolation in their rooms. A dedicated playroom for these patients—one of four in the hospital overall—is located within the Center. The center was made possible through a $3 million pledge from Lecavalier, who is captain of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning.

The new hospital will also feature a rooftop helistop for med-evac helicopters transporting critically ill children. The helipad is designed to bear the weight and rotor span of most military helicopters, which are capable of carrying multiple patients.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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