WVU hospital plans more capacity for children’s services

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia University’s affiliated hospital system on Thursday announced plans to build a new 10-story tower at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital to increase capacity to provide services and treatment to children.

According to WVU Hospitals, the $152 million tower in Morgantown will take three years to build, adding 150 beds, including a 50-bed intensive care unit for newborns and a 20-bed ICU for pediatric patients.

It will also contain 40 beds for pediatric acute care, 30 beds in an obstetrics unit that could be expanded, operating rooms, facilities for endoscopy and cardiac catheterization, a laboratory, satellite pharmacy, respiratory therapy and a cafeteria.

Albert Wright, president of the West Virginia University Health System, said the demand for their services has increased.

“This new building will allow us to match our expanded programs for the women and children of West Virginia with a state-of-the-art facility,” said Dr. J. Philip Saul, executive vice president of WVU Medicine Children’s. “The goal is for no child who needs us to leave the state for care.”

The West Virginia Health Care Authority will have to first approve a certificate of need. Hospital officials said they expect the tower to open to patients in late fall or early winter in 2020.

Construction costs are estimated at about $106 million with another $46 million for financing and related costs.

A capital campaign to raise $60 million is planned. WVU Hospitals said it will finance the rest, won’t seek state funding and “no extraordinary rate increase” is anticipated from the construction.

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