Children’s Hospital Begins Expansion Process

The American Family Children’s Hospital is beginning the process of expanding vertically with plans to build two new floors.

The infrastructure costs of creating floors seven and eight to the facility total $13 million.

In addition, $32 million will come from University of Wisconsin Health’s “Sick Kids Can’t Wait” fundraising campaign, which kicked off two weeks ago.

Hospital leaders announced the eighth floor will house a surgical NICU.

It’s part of a 10-year plan to expand the number of hospital beds from 61 to 87. With the American Family Children’s Hospital at capacity, UW Health said the 26 additional critical care beds now won’t have to disrupt other parts of the hospital.

“We would have literally had to move those 26 beds to the adult hospital, which is already also very full,” said Donna Katen-Bahensky, UW Hospitals and Clinics president and CEO. “It would have taken up two of our units there. It would have taken additional time to be able to do that, and take some beds out of service on the adult side.”

The UW Board of Regents and Shorewood Village will need to approve the plans.

Construction is expected to begin later this year, with the surgical NICU and pediatric intensive care space scheduled to open April 2014.