HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 3,000 people joined the Alexian Brothers and leaders of Alexian Brothers Health System (ABHS) to celebrate the upcoming opening of Alexian Brothers Women & Children's Hospital during an eight-day series of events at the Hoffman Estates facility.
The $125 million hospital is scheduled to open April 6 and will provide convenient access to a broad continuum of advanced pediatric care that families in Chicago's northwest suburbs previously could receive only by traveling much longer distances.
"The focus of this hospital is very sub-specialized," said Mark Frey, ABHS President and Chief Executive Officer, who spoke during blessing, dedication and ribbon-cutting events at the hospital March 15. "This facility is designed to offer some of the most comprehensive and complex sub-specialized care that can be done anywhere in the world. Neurosurgery for children is one example. Surgical oncology is another."
Located on the campus of St. Alexius Medical Center, the 126-bed, six-level hospital features:
- Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with a full complement of pediatric sub-specialty physicians to care for the tiniest babies. The fourth-floor NICU has 26 private rooms, including 16 critical-care beds and 10 "step-down" beds for infants whose conditions are improving and/or less critical. Some rooms adjoin each other to accommodate families with multiple births, and all rooms include a sofa bed so parents or other family members can stay overnight with infants. The unit will provide care for premature babies born earlier than 30 weeks or weighing less than 2.75 lbs., and for babies with complications such as heart-valve problems, hernias and neurological issues.
- The Center for Pediatric Brain, which will bring together existing ABHS pediatric neurological programs in a convenient outpatient location on the hospital's first floor. The center will provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary neurological care for children with brain, nervous-system and neuromuscular disorders. The center also offers autism programs, a concussion clinic for young athletes, and a pediatric epilepsy program that features an epilepsy monitoring unit provided in partnership with Rush University Medical Center. ABHS has recruited some of the nation's leading physicians in pediatric neuroscience to care for children at the Center for Pediatric Brain.
- Expansive Mother/Baby Services. The fifth and sixth floors of the hospital are dedicated to mothers and babies. The sixth floor includes three operating rooms, six triage bays, eight private ante partum suites, and 14 private labor/delivery/recovery suites. The fifth floor includes 32 private and spacious mother-baby suites, each with a comfortable chair and a sofa bed, and a well baby nursery with room for 18 infants.
The second floor of the 210,000-square-foot hospital features an eight-bed pediatric intensive care unit and 20 large, private pediatric suites, each with furnishings that include a comfortable chair and a sofa bed. The hospital also includes a large day surgery area and is physically connected to CN Emergikids, an emergency room for children at St. Alexius Medical Center.
The new hospital features a kid-friendly environment, including a tent-like canopy illuminated by lights that change colors outside the main entrance, and playrooms for different age groups on the second floor. The interior of the hospital was designed to create a homelike feeling, with wood tones, a mixture of bright and neutral colors, and artwork by Illinois artists, including local children.
Blessing, dedication and ribbon-cutting events were among a series of celebrations and hospital tours sponsored by ABHS in advance of the hospital's opening. Events also were held for emergency medical services personnel, police and firefighters; area colleges, universities and nursing schools; construction workers, trade unions and elected officials; social service agencies; local clergy; area families; and ABHS physicians, associates, volunteers and supporters.
"We wanted to expand the resources that we have available to women and children, and I think we've succeeded," Frey said. "There are far more services here than we have had the capacity to deliver in the past. We also hoped to increase access to care for children, which is a significant problem across the United States. What you see here is an opportunity for us to open our doors for more people who are poor and vulnerable in our community to make sure that no one is turned away."
Illinois State Senator Michael Noland, D-Elgin, underscored Frey's remarks, telling guests at the ribbon-cutting event, "We have so many people, so many of my constituents, who are Medicaid recipients who otherwise could not afford the care that they will receive here. These doors are open to them because of the mission of the Brothers."
Noland and Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod, who also spoke at the event, expressed their appreciation not only for the high-quality healthcare resources provided by the new hospital, St. Alexius Medical Center and other local Alexian Brothers facilities, but also for their collective impact as an economic engine for the area.
"We're really excited about this because this facility will be able to provide, as has (St. Alexius Medical Center) the great service that Alexian Brothers has always provided," McLeod said. "That's a great comfort to people who live in this area to have a first-class medical facility – a world-class medical facility – in their neighborhood."
Len Wilk, President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Alexius Medical Center, summed up the expected impact of the new hospital, telling guests at the ribbon-cutting event: "I look out at this building, and I see incredible carpeting and wall covering and a beautiful building. But I also think of literally the hundreds of thousands of people who will be served in this building over its lifetime. This building will have a huge impact on the community, and I personally am very proud of being associated with it."
Before the ribbon-cutting event, Most Reverend George J. Rassas, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, blessed and dedicated the new hospital. He was representing Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, who was in Rome following the election of Pope Francis I. ABHS announced that Cardinal George plans to bless the new hospital and its staff during a visit on April 29.
About Alexian Brothers Health System
Ranked among the nation's best-performing health systems, ABHS is part of St. Louis-based Ascension Health, the nation's largest non-profit and Catholic health system. ABHS includes five hospitals, a center for mental health, immediate-care centers, diagnostic imaging facilities, occupational health centers, and a physician practice group that serves more than 2 million people every year in Chicago's suburbs. ABHS also has an enduring commitment to identifying and developing effective responses to the unique health and housing needs of older adults through a dynamic senior ministries program that offers an array of residential, retirement and community resources in Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.alexianbrothershealth.org.
SOURCE Alexian Brothers Health System