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State approves CON application for new Brenner Children's Hospital

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has received conditional approval from the North Carolina Department of Facility Services Certificate of Need (CON) Section to build an additional tower on the current medical center campus.

The primary component of the new tower will include room for expansion of the current Brenner Children''s Hospital.

"We are extremely pleased that the state has given us approval to proceed with this project," said Len B. Preslar, Jr., president and CEO of N.C. Baptist Hospital. "This new facility provides us with an opportunity to improve and expand our already outstanding programs to more appropriately meet the needs of families in the counties we serve."

This is part of a larger project, which includes closing the inpatient units in aging West and South buildings and renovating those buildings for support services.

The North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Inc. Board of Trustees had approved the construction of the project in November, but the project needed state approval, before construction could begin, Preslar added.

Plans for the new Brenner Children''s Hospital would allow for single occupancy rooms for pediatric patients and their families, family resource centers, and innovations such as a day program for children with disabilities and respite for parents.

"As the only children''s hospital in northwestern North Carolina, we take our responsibility to the communities we serve seriously," said Laurence Givner, M.D., vice-chair of clinical affairs for the department of pediatrics at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. "We are looking forward to the future and making plans to meet the needs of children in the new millennium."

Construction on the $115 million project, will begin in early 2000.

Currently called Ardmore Tower West, the 400,000 square foot addition, will include 11 new floors, six of which will house Brenner Children''s Hospital. The other five floors will house operating and surgical areas, space for outpatient hospital services, and cardiac catheterization labs.

The hospital has retained Bovis Construction Corporation of Charlotte to build the tower. Architects at Stanley, Beaman, and Sears and Gresham, Smith and Partners have been working with hospital officials on pre-construction planning.

Founded in 1986, Brenner Children''s Hospital and Health Services cares for children from western North Carolina, as well as parts of Virginia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. A part of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Brenner Children''s treats young patients from birth to age 21.

Over 3,000 children are admitted to Brenner Children''s Hospital each year. In addition, more than 21,000 pediatric subspecialty visits occur annually at the hospital-based outpatient clinics. Children admitted to the children''s hospital may suffer from a variety of serious conditions such as leukemia and congenital heart defects.

Comprised of 138-beds, Brenner Children''s Hospital provides a full continuum of care with a pediatric emergency room, pediatric and neonatal intensive care units, infant, child, and adolescent inpatient units and outpatient clinics. In addition to these services, physicians also conduct 24 outreach clinics, seeing over 1,100 outpatients annually in 13 counties across western North Carolina and southern Virginia.

In addition to clinical care, the pediatric faculty conduct basic and clinical research into diseases that affect children, a substantial portion of which is supported by federal and industrial funding.

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