January 10, 2010 by USA Post
Ann Miller,ST. PETERSBURG - All Children’s Hospital officially opened its new home Saturday, more than four years after construction began.
The 10-story hospital sits across Sixth Avenue South from the main Bayfront Medical Center campus. The move transferred 169 patients and an equal number of adult chaperones through Bayfront’s underground corridors and skyways from All Children’s 42-year-old facility on the south side of Bayfront to the new one on the north side.
The move took six hours, said hospital spokeswoman Ann Miller.
The new building was needed because All Children’s had simply outgrown its older home, said Cindy Rose, associate vice president for marketing and community relations.
“Health care has changed a lot since 1967,” Rose said.
The $402 million new hospital has more than double the floor space of the old facility. It also has nearly 30 percent more beds than the old hospital, including 37 more neonatal intensive care spaces.
The new facility has an emergency power supply that will let it operate independently for up to three weeks in case of a disaster, Miller said.
A helicopter pad on the roof will let All Children’s accept pediatric trauma patients directly rather than transferring them from the neighboring hospital, Rose said.
The new facility also will put new mothers and their newborns in the same building for the first time. Before the new building, mothers had to travel the underground tunnel linking Bayfront and All Children’s to visit their newborns, Rose said.
The old facility still contains equipment that will be shifted to the new hospital over the coming weeks. Hospital officials are still sorting out the fate of the old building. It may be sold or leased to another user, Miller said.
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