Nationwide Children’s Hospital Dedicates Additions

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Patients and public officials help dedicate expansion of Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus(Photo: Tom Borgerding/WOSU news)
Patients and public officials help dedicate expansion of Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus(Photo: Tom Borgerding/WOSU news)

Nationwide Children’s Hospital today showed off its new $780,000,000 expansion to elected and civic leaders, donors, and young patients.

A crowd of about a thousand turned out to take measure of the expansion at Parsons and Livingston. Among them, Tiffini Hefner of Mansfield and her five year old son, Beau.

“He was diagnosed here April Fool’s Day, 2011.”

Hefner says she and her son will spend much of his immediate future at the hospital. His treatment regimen is aggressive. But, she says it also gives her hope.

“He takes daily chemo everyday for the next two and a half years. And then he’ll have five years of follow-up care from there and after the five year mark he’ll be cured. We get to use that word more. About the age of 13 is when we’ll start hearing that word cured.”  Hefner adds.

Also on hand at the dedication ceremonies, Jessica and Mike Hager of Pickerington.

“Our youngest daughter Madeline has asthma. So she’s here quite a bit. So I think it means alot to the children when you start thinking about a child that can’t breathe. Just to have the ability to do the research and the expansion so there’s room for them really to go after this. You really can’t put it into words.”

Asthma is among the most common diagnoses among patients.

Nationwide Children’s C-E-O, Doctor Steve Allen, says the new facilities also gives the pediatric hospital what he calls critical mass where researchers have access to a large clinical environment

“At one end we are doing gene therapy here. We’re doing tissue engineering. Really high level stuff that nobody else on the planet is doing. And at the other end we have a group of researchers who are dedicated to finding out how children get injured and figuring out ways to prevent them from getting injured.” Says Allen.

With the new expansion, Children’s now has 460 patient beds at its main campus. Board chair Abigail Wexner says with the expansion in both research and patient care the hospital will draw from a wide area.

“We already draw from every county and from every state in the country, but I think as our national reputation grows we’ll continue to draw even more.”  Says Wexner.

Wexner says the expansion allows children’s to deliver care in what she calls the “best environment.”  Every patient room is private to reduce the chance of infection and allow family members or caregivers to sleepover.

Tom Borgerding
WOSU News

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