September 06, 2017
WICHITA – Wesley Children’s Hospital, the region’s first and only dedicated hospital designed, built and equipped exclusively for children, celebrated its one year anniversary today. Located at the intersection of Central and Hillside streets at Wesley’s main campus, the hospital celebrated with a birthday party for staff and patient families.
“Today’s celebration is a little bit like a child’s first birthday. As a parent, we look back at our baby’s first year and all of the milestones they have reached, often shedding tears of joy and tears of pride in what they have accomplished,” said Dr. Stephanie Kuhlmann, DO, Wesley Children’s Hospital pediatrics medical director. “I shed those same tears of joy and pride when I think about how much Wesley Children’s Hospital has grown in the past year.”
Since the announcement to build the $28 million children’s hospital in 2015, Wesley has recruited 12 pediatric subspecialists and four hospitalists to its pediatric services team. Physicians recruited this summer include a pediatric plastic surgeon, pediatric pulmonologist and non-operative pediatric orthopedic physician. Wesley now offers care in 22 different pediatric subspecialties.
“We are very excited about the future at Wesley Children’s Hospital as we continue hiring specialists, adding depth and new services to our already robust pediatric service line,” said Bill Voloch, Wesley Healthcare president and CEO. “The next phase of Wesley Children’s Hospital development is an expansion of our pediatric emergency room which will add four additional beds, bringing our total number of beds to 14.”
The Wesley Children’s Hospital ER will get a new look and more beds as the hospital respond to a steady growth in pediatric emergency care, where roughly 26,000 children sought help last year for everything from sore throats to traumatic injuries. The $2 million project will allow patients to be seen very quickly and provide for every more efficient transitions for patients with all types of emergencies. Construction will begin later this year.
“Wesley Children’s Hospital is not just bricks and mortar. It’s the people and programs inside these four walls that have made all the difference – and we have only just begun,” Voloch said. “We will continue our efforts of building a world-class pediatric hospital that puts the needs of its patients and their families at the forefront.”
It took roughly 150 people to construct Wesley Children’s Hospital, which includes a new façade on the hospital’s Hillside exterior, a renovated entrance, lobby and elevators, as well as the installation of a new, all-private 15-bed PICU and new aesthetic and heating and cooling upgrades on its 31-bed pediatric floor.