May 18, 2018
WICHITA – Wesley Children’s Hospital, the region’s first and only dedicated hospital designed, built and equipped exclusively for children, announced today a $17 million Phase 2 construction and service expansion project that includes a dedicated pediatric pharmacy. Since Wesley announced plans to build the children’s hospital in 2015, it has pledged more than $50 million in programs and services to care for our region’s children.
“The goal of Wesley Children’s Hospital is still the same as it was when it was unveiled,” said Bill Voloch, Wesley Healthcare’s CEO. “We want to keep children as close to home as possible for care and to do that we need to keep expanding services, building new programs and recruiting the very best physicians to provide care. This is another step in the development of our pediatric service.”
Since announcing plans to build the hospital, Wesley has recruited 32 pediatric specialists – including physicians in certain sub-specialties such as pediatric urology, pediatric pulmonology and pediatric plastic surgery that have not been available in the Wichita region for years, or, in some cases, ever.
Wesley Children’s Hospital Phase 2 development and construction includes:
• The creation of a dedicated pediatric pharmacy
• The creation of 14 additional pediatric beds for sedation, oncology and pediatric intensive care overflow
• Five private infusion bays
• A pediatric oncology prep room
• An expansion of outpatient dialysis beds
• Physician call rooms
• Additional space for child life programs and volunteers
Wesley Children’s Hospital also just completed renovation of its pediatric ER. The $2 million project expanded the total number of ER beds by four and remodeled the ER to match the aesthetics of the rest of the children’s hospital. The expansion will help with the steady growth in pediatric emergency care, where roughly 26,000 children sought help last year for everything from sore throats to traumatic injuries. The fully expanded ER opens to the public today.
“Providing high-quality emergency care services to children requires an infrastructure designed to support care for pediatric patients,” said Bryan Henderson, MD, pediatric ER medical director for Wesley Children’s Hospital. “Caring for children is different than adults and having the equipment and supplies specific to children ensures a quality, safe environment for this region’s children and their families.”
In addition to keeping more children closer to home for care, Wesley also has seen an increase in patients coming to Wesley for care from cities in north-central and southwest Kansas since the hospital opened. One of these patients is Ellie Mae Weathers, a 3-year-old from Inman, Kansas, who suffers with short bowel syndrome from a condition known as Hirschsprung’s disease. Having experienced long trips to Kansas City for care, her family says it has found its medical home at Wesley Children’s Hospital after coming here to fix some ongoing issues.
“We came to Wesley for care due to surgery complications and other issues Ellie was having,” said Katelyn Weathers, Ellie’s mom. “I just can’t say enough wonderful things about the care and support we have received from Wesley. I don’t know what we would do without (Wesley pediatric surgeon) Dr. Kim Molik and her guidance. The entire pediatric services team has just been amazing.”
Initial work on the project began this month.