Oregon Health & Science University today announced plans to explore the expansion of OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. The proposed new facility would create the first children’s hospital in the Pacific Northwest — and one of the few in the country — to offer comprehensive and aligned obstetric, neonatal, pediatric surgery, and developmental medicine services in one location, and to provide care exclusively focused on delivering the strongest possible start for expecting parents and their babies.
“This expansion would bring together a constellation of faculty and staff not available anywhere else in the state,” said Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A., OHSU President. “This is yet another example of OHSU embracing big health challenges, ideas and opportunities to improve the health and well-being of all Oregonians.”
An integral part of Oregon’s only academic medical center, and first in the nation among all academic medical centers in quality and safety outcomes for children, OHSU Doernbecher is uniquely positioned to lead efforts to increase access statewide, thereby improving outcomes for high-risk cases.
In 2011, a team of OHSU maternal-fetal medicine specialists, neonatologist and pediatric specialists and subspecialists collaboratively launched the state’s first and only Oregon Perinatal and Neonatal Network to expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of health care services to communities lacking high-risk and neonatal care capabilities using telehealth. Today, the majority of neonatology and maternal-fetal care providers around the state participate in the network’s twice-monthly telehealth case conferences.
OHSU also is home to the most comprehensive Fetal Therapy Program in Oregon, including three of four practicing maternal-fetal specialists/geneticists in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, in perinatal and neonatal medicine, OHSU faculty are performing cutting-edge research including:
-- Placenta research
-- Prenatal diagnosis
-- Prediction and management of preeclampsia
-- Prediction and management of preterm labor
-- Safety and simulation in obstetric care
-- The impact of policy on obstetric outcomes at individual/societal levels
-- Impact of prenatal care on neonatal and childhood outcomes
-- Improvement in perinatal and neonatal care on neonatal outcomes
In addition to creating a seamless coordinated system of care for families from conception through adolescence and beyond, the proposed expansion would help address multiple needs for facilities upgrades and long-term bed expansion by reassigning Women’s and Children’s Services, which include Labor & Delivery, Mother and Baby, Antepartum (pre-childbirth), and the Doernbecher Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, from OHSU Hospital to the proposed new facility, freeing up much-needed space for adult medical/surgical patients.
The potential expansion could add up to 22 additional beds for Women’s and Children’s Services and make available approximately 68 beds across OHSU Hospital through new construction or repurposed space.
OHSU’s leadership team, faculty and staff have begun the pre-programming planning process. If the project proves viable, the design process could begin as early as 2017 and construction could commence as early as 2018.