Children's Hospital breaks groundby Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota will break ground today on an expansion and renovation to its St. Paul campus.
The plan includes modernizing the hospital's operating room, expanding its emergency department and creating a new suite for its pediatric epilepsy center.
Dr. Alan Goldbloom is president and CEO of Children's. He says the hospital will also make all of its rooms private.
"This is no longer viewed as a luxury in hospital care. This is actually seen as the standard of care. And one of the most important reasons is actually the prevention of hospital-acquired infection. Having kids mix in with each other when they're very ill is not always a healthy thing," said Goldbloom.
Work on the St. Paul campus is expected to take three years or more. The hospital will remain open during the project.
Children's is also renovating and expanding its Minneapolis campus. That work began in October.
The two projects will cost approximately $300 million dollars.
Some lawmakers and health industry observers had hoped that Children's would merge with the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital, Fairview, rather than invest more money in separate pediatric campuses.
But president and CEO, Dr. Alan Goldbloom, says the merger idea didn't come together in time to meet Children's needs.
"Children's is still the single largest provider of care to children with cancer, with prematurity and with congenital heart disease in the entire region. We're doing such huge volumes that we simply have to bring our facilities up to date. We couldn't wait any longer," Goldbloom said.
The University of Minnesota Children's Hospital announced last year that it is spending $175 million dollars to expand its facility.