Dayton Children’s breaks ground on new patient tower

The groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for Dayton Children’s Hospital’s new eight-story patient tower was lauded by state and local officials in attendance as a major milestone in the fight against pediatric diseases and conditions, including the high rate of infant mortality in Ohio.

Over the past decade, Ohio has consistently ranked among the states with the highest infant mortality rates. The state rate in 2011 was 7.9 per 1,000 births, higher than the rate for nine of the 10 most populous states and significantly higher than the national rate of 6.11 per 1,000 births, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

“We know in Ohio that we don’t do very well with infant mortality,” said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) from Cleveland. “The work that Dayton Children’s is doing will make a huge difference in dealing with one of the most shameful problems that we have as a nation.”

During the ceremony, Brown unveiled bipartisan legislation aimed at enhancing surveillance of sudden unexpected infant deaths. The Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act would fill the gaps in federal reporting of infant deaths to improve prevention efforts, he said.

Infant mortality is one of four health improvement priorities in Ohio’s state health improvement plan, which was finalized by the state health department in 2012.

Dayton Children’s new $141 million, 260,000-square-foot patient tower will help the state meet those goals by offering state-of-the art technology and facilities, including an advanced newborn intensive care unit. The patient tower also will feature an innovative comprehensive cancer and blood disorder center and new patient care units.

The project is expected to be completed by the spring of 2017.

“We knew we needed patient care facilities that could meet the ever-changing needs of pediatric health care in a family-friendly environment,” said Deborah Feldman, president and CEO at Dayton Children’s. “Our new patient care tower will help us deliver the very best care to children in our region well into the future.”

About the Author