Officials from the Pensacola-based Sacred Heart Health System broke ground this morning on its new multi-million dollar Studer Family Children’s Hospital.
The system’s existing children’s hospital is the only one in the region, serving families across Northwest Florida, South Alabama and South Georgia. The expanded Studer Family Children’s Hospital will allow the hospital to provide care for more children, increase access to specialized pediatric and maternity care, and consolidate pediatric services in one convenient location.
Sacred Heart officials were joined at the ceremony by businessman Quint Studer, his wife Rishy, and his daughter Mallory. Studer said he was humbled by Sacred Heart CEO Susan Davis’ decision to name the new hospital after his family. “We don’t like to put names on things,” Studer said. “The new Downtown Y is an exception, but we only agreed to that because other families were also named.”
The new five-story, 120,000 square foot building, which is expected to be completed by late 2017 or early 2018, will house an expanded neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), six pediatric operating rooms, and an expanded pediatric emergency and trauma center. Consolidating children’s emergency and inpatient services in one building will allow for more coordinated care and shorter discharge processes for children, officials said. The NICU of the new children’s hospital will offer private rooms in its Level III unit, which includes the most critically ill babies.
In phase two of the project, the existing building will be renovated to add a pediatric inpatient rehabilitation gym and pediatric satellite pharmacy and expand the hospital’s maternity center. The renovation and expansion of the maternity center will increase the number of beds for mothers needing specialized care with an expansion to the hospital’s OB Emergency Care Center, postpartum beds, and surgical suites for mothers needing caesarean sections.
Because the expansion will take away from existing parking spaces, Sacred Heart will also construct a new surface lot or parking garage next to the current Ninth Avenue parking garage. Construction of the new parking lot will begin in early 2016 along with construction of the new Children’s Hospital.