After years of plans, negotiations and design work, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital officials celebrated a major milestone Thursday, Sept. 6, in their effort to expand and upgrade the hospital.
Hospital officials were joined by HP CEO Meg Whitman, John Sobrato, founder of The Sobrato Organization, and a host of dignitaries at a groundbreaking ceremony at the hospital.
The project will add 521,000 square feet of space to the hospital, including seven operating rooms and 150 new patient rooms, 146 of which will be private. Two of the new operating rooms will feature advanced imaging technology that will allow surgeons to collaborate with anesthesiologists and radiologists and to use rapidly updated images to make real-time assessments during complex operations such as repairing a malformed heart or removing a brain tumor, according to the hospital. Patients will no longer need to be moved to another room for CT scans and MRIs.
"The new hospital has been designed not only for our patients today but also for what we anticipate will be their needs in the future," Christopher Dawes, president and CEO of Packard Children's Hospital, said in a statement.
"The acuity of our patients is among the highest in the United States. The new hospital will incorporate the very latest medical technology while also providing more privacy and more space for families to be with their sick child or pregnant spouse."
The project, a major component of Stanford University Medical Center's $5 billion "Project Renewal," earned the approval of the Palo Alto City Council in July 2011. Other components of Stanford's massive expansion effort -- which Palo Alto officials routinely refer to as the "largest development in the city's history" -- include a new Stanford Hospital and Clinics building and renovations to the Stanford University School of Medicine. The Children's Hospital addition is slated to open in 2016.