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Hospitals

It’s Official: Children’s Health and UTSW Unveil Plans for $5 Billion Pediatric Campus in the Medical District

The new 2-million-square-foot campus will increase the number of beds to 552 and connect to Clements University Hospital via sky bridge.
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Courtesy: UTSW and Children's Health

Children’s Health and UT Southwestern Medical Center today officially announced plans for a $5 billion, 2 million-square-foot pediatric campus across 33 acres in the Medical District near Clements University Hospital.

The announcement comes more than a year after D CEO Healthcare broke the story about the plans for the new campus in January 2023, which Children’s Health and UT Southwestern declined to speak about until now. The original solicitation documents for the project described a $2.5 billion hospital, a price tag that doubled through the planning process. Since then, the health systems made way for the new hospital by demolishing the buildings of what had been Exchange Park, across the street from Clements University Hospital at Harry Hines Boulevard and Mockingbird Lane. The University of Texas Board of Regents approved the new campus late last year.

According to Children’s Health, the new hospital will serve as a hub for innovation, research, training, and the development of life-saving technologies. The hospital will have two 12-story towers and an 8-story tower and will replace the existing Children’s Medical Center Dallas, which is 1.9 million square feet. The campus isn’t expected to open for six to seven years.

The hospital will include $4.5 million square feet of construction and 552 beds, a 38 percent increase from the existing campus and 20 more beds than we reported last year. There will also be a room for future expansion, a 15 percent increase in emergency department space, and a 22 percent expansion of the number operating rooms. The Level I pediatric trauma center will be equipped with two helicopter pads, 90 emergency exam rooms and 24 observation rooms. The expansions are reflective the 2.5 million pediatric patients that are expected to grow to 3 million by 2032 and double by 2050.

There will also be a connector bridge between Clements and the new hospital, allowing UTSW experts to more easily make the journey between hospitals. The proximity to UTSW’s research hub will also help recruit pediatric researchers, clinicians, students, and residents. A new fetal care center will be part of the hospital as well as an outpatient clinic building that will add 96 exam rooms to the 344 that exist at the specialty center adjacent to the current Dallas campus, which will continue to operate where it is today.

“For more than 110 years, Children’s Health has served the children of North Texas, adapting and growing with the needs of our community,” said Christopher Durovich, president and chief executive officer of Children’s Health. “This new pediatric campus, a joint investment with UT Southwestern, enhances our shared capacity to provide comprehensive care for children, including those with the most complex medical and surgical needs. It enables us to continue pioneering academic research, life-saving treatments, and industry-leading technology for pediatric patients for generations to come.” 

The hospital is being planned within the context for UTSW and Children’s Health Joint Pediatric Venture, which was formed in 2019 and is meant to align governance and facilitate clinical and hospital integration. The two organizations both have hospitals ranked in the top 20 in the nation and have been collaborating on research, staffing, and clinical service for 60 years. The organizations released this video emphasizing the team care and collaboration with the announcement of the new campus.

“Our comprehensive and team-based care approach is unique in the region, highlighted by specialists in every pediatric field who collaborate to provide compassionate, high-quality care for children,” said Dr. Maeve Sheehan, chief medical officer of Children’s Medical Center Dallas, and professor and vice chair for clinical operations at UT Southwestern. “This type of care model has been front and center in our design process, guiding the creation of spaces that not only accommodate medical excellence but also prioritize the comfort, healing, and individual needs of each child.”

The announcement precedes further expansion across the region. Children’s Health’s Plano campus will open its hospital tower expansion in 2024, tripling the number of beds, and increasing clinical capabilities. Children’s Health opened a three story, 30000-square-foot specialty in Prosper last year, will move into 150,000 square feet at the UT Southwestern Medical Center at RedBird in 2025, and continues to grow its primary care network in North Texas.

“The pediatric campus is the next chapter in our more than 60-year partnership with Children’s Health and will elevate clinical innovation and transformative science that will benefit pediatric patients and their families for generations to come,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern Medical Center. “The expertise on our campus, supported by state-of-the-art technologies and facilities, will enhance our commitment to excellence and compassion in providing the very best care for children and position us to accelerate the future of pediatric medicine together.”

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Will Maddox

Will Maddox

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Will is the senior editor for D CEO magazine and the editor of D CEO Healthcare. He's written about healthcare…

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