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An Investment Like No Other: $50 Million Beacon Children’s Hospital to Open in 2017

Less than a year from now, the new home of Beacon Children’s Hospital will open, marking the largest single investment in children’s health in the history of Michiana. If you or someone you know has had a child at Beacon Children’s Hospital, you understand the need for this investment in our future.

Making this kind of history is exciting to everyone involved in the $50 million, three-story, 116,000-square-foot addition, especially families served by the children’s hospital. The new facility will open in spring of 2017.

Families can take comfort in knowing a newly dedicated space, teamed with an existing group of highly trained specialty physicians, will provide the highest level of care close to home.

“We will soon have state-of-the-art facilities to complement the outstanding care we’ve always provided,” says Michaeleen Conlee, Executive Director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Beacon Children’s Hospital.

Construction, which began in summer of 2015, is going well, with all the structural concrete and steel in place. Exterior walls and the roof have been installed and the interior work will soon begin.

The project centralizes infant and pediatric services in one area that is larger and more patient friendly, including 23 pediatric rooms and 12 pediatric intensive care rooms. The driving force behind the project is having more and larger patient rooms due to increasing transfers to Memorial and the need for more privacy to enhance recovery and family bonding. The existing space is cramped and lacks the desired privacy that families need while spending time with their sick son or daughter.

Ashley Steenbeke, whose son Brantley was in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for three weeks, is thrilled that the new facility will offer increased privacy. The new NICU will be nearly four times the size of its current space and the 30 private rooms will be a huge improvement over the existing open-pod concept, as parents will have greater privacy for breastfeeding and skin-to-skin care.

Ashley’s experience in the NICU left an indelible impression on her.

“We loved the care at Memorial. We met a lot of awesome nurses who we are friends with today.”

Beacon neonatologist Basharat Buchh, MD, who has worked at Beacon for 10 years, believes no other hospital in the country has built a children’s hospital with couplet care in mind the way Beacon is doing it. Couplet care refers to mothers and babies staying in the same room together — a way of caring that research shows helps babies grow and develop faster.

“This is a game changer,” he says. “The investment we are making with the new hospital is critical for our babies in the NICU. That’s because the quality of care they receive in those earliest days and weeks of life plays a big part in their growth and development for years to come.”

The new home of the children’s hospital will also bring with it more space in general for patients and families to spend time together outside their private rooms. That includes a rooftop butterfly terrace, a glass-enclosed atrium and more common areas.

Key Construction Milestone Dates:

  • Concrete structure completion: March 31, 2016
  • Roofing/Skylight installed: April 20, 2016
  • Final beam hoisted into place: April 20, 2016
  • Exterior masonry completion: May 30, 2016
  • Tower crane removal: July 5, 2016