Dozens of supporters gathered this morning to dedicate Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center's new freestanding Children's Hospital.
The $207 million project was supported by gifts totaling more than $75 million, including $25 million from Pittsburgh-based insurer Highmark Inc., $10 million from THON, $8 million from local philanthropists Jeanne and Ed Arnold, and $5 million from the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation.
Work on the six-story, 263,000-square-foot building began in 2009 and will open to patients in January. The facility is designed to foster patient- and family-centered care, with family accommodations in each of the 72 inpatient rooms and numerous amenities. It boasts five dedicated pediatric operating rooms, a cardiac catheterization lab, two procedure rooms and a pediatric radiology space.
According to a news release, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital is the only children’s hospital between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia fully equipped to treat the most severely ill children, with both the highest-level neonatal intensive care unit and a Level I pediatric trauma center.
Hospital leaders, legislative dignitaries, donors and patient families participating in the dedication stressed that the facility is just a tool to continue the work that the Hershey Medical Center’s doctors and nurses have long been providing children in a smaller space – a floor of the medical center. The Children’s Hospital earned national recognition from U.S. News and World Report in two specialties in 2011 and in three specialties in 2012.
While constructing the new hospital, Hershey Medical Center also expanded its Centerview Parking Garage and built a new support services building.