Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Breaks Ground on New Facility at Children's at Hughes Spalding

PRNewswire/ -- Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, a not- for-profit organization and one of the country's leading pediatric health care systems, today broke ground on the construction of a new facility at Children's at Hughes Spalding. More than 100 attendees witnessed the ceremony, which represents a major milestone in efforts to reshape and revitalize the downtown facility.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta will continue to rely on support from the community in order to raise the nearly $10 million more needed to renovate and operate the facility.

"We are enthusiastic that this day has come," said Donna Hyland, president and CEO of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. "The new building at Hughes Spalding will have a pediatric focus, which is important since we know that children fare better when treated in a child-centered setting. With our increased attention on clinical excellence, research, teaching and wellness as part of Children's 10-year vision, we couldn't be happier with the strides that have been made towards providing the highest quality care for the Children's at Hughes Spalding community, as well as all of Georgia's children."

Children's assumed the management of Grady-owned Hughes Spalding in 2006 and has since worked extensively with members of the community, physicians, employees and others to create a plan to ensure its viability for future generations. The new, four-story facility, projected to open in 2010, is part of that plan. Replacing the hospital's 1952 building, which was originally constructed as an adult hospital, the new building will feature vital child- and family-friendly amenities not currently available.

"Children's and Grady share a mission to make the highest quality care accessible to all children," said Doug Hertz, Chairman of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Board of Trustees. "The enhancements that have been made already at Children's at Hughes Spalding and the ones yet to come will further strengthen our ability to do just that. It's an exciting time."

The hospital will be constructed on land now used for a parking lot and will augment a 1983 annex, which has also undergone renovations. The structure will house 24 child-friendly inpatient beds with the ability to expand, an enhanced and expanded Emergency department and vital specialty clinics: sickle cell, asthma and child protection.

"Many hands have come together to ensure Hughes Spalding remains an important resource," said Julia Jones, vice president, operations of Children's at Hughes Spalding. "Representatives from Children's and Grady, as well as Emory University School of Medicine and Morehouse School of Medicine - the physicians who see the children every day - provided invaluable feedback on how to revitalize the facility. It truly has been a community effort."

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