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Nemours Looks "Up" to the Future

The duPont Hospital for Children Kicks Off Expansion

Tuesday, Aug 23, 2011

Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington

Wilmington, DE — More than 800 people gathered on the grounds of the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children to ceremoniously “break the sky” on phase one of a $260 million hospital expansion. Local dignitaries, including Delaware Governor Jack Markell, United States Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Chris Coons (D-DE), and Congressman John Carney (D-DE) joined Nemours patient-families and Associates to kick-off the development of a 5-story patient care building adjacent to the current hospital that will feature expanded services to meet the growing needs of children and their families. The multi-year project, supported in part by a generous $2.5 million gift from the DuPont Company, aims to create a health care environment that supports a patient and family centered journey and promotes healing and wellness. Phase one construction is expected to finish in the fall of 2013 and be ready for occupancy in early 2014.

The Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital Expands to Support Growth

Opening in 1940, for 40 years the Hospital primarily treated children with orthopedic and related illnesses. By the mid-1980s, the vision of The Nemours Foundation broadened in response to the greater needs of children from across the Delaware Valley. The duPont Hospital evolved to become a full-service, acute care children’s hospital serving more than 300,000 children a year across more than 30 specialty areas.

To keep pace with the changing health care environment and meet patient needs, phase one of the expansion will support the majority of the Hospital’s acute care capacity, enhance critical care for pediatric patients and increase the hospital’s emergency and trauma care capabilities.

“We are committed to providing the highest-quality care for our children. With this expansion we have the opportunity to create an environment that enhances patient care, supports families, provides the latest in technology and supports collaboration and communication: the true 21st-century model of pediatric health care,” remarked Dr. Kevin B. Churchwell, CEO of the Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children.

Features of the expansion include:
  • The addition of approximately 450,000 square feet to the campus and adjoining the existing hospital building.
  • Private, family-centered, patient rooms with state-of-the-art technology will replace most of the existing semi-private medical/surgical beds in the 27-year old wing of the hospital.
  • A new Emergency Department will provide additional treatment capacity to accommodate continued growth, improve workflow and support the Hospital’s planned elevation of State Trauma designation from Level II to Level I
  • A reconfigured Atrium entrance will facilitate access to all services and help to create a “Main Street” that will better enable navigation and ease wayfinding in the hospital.
  • The development of strategically placed “nursing neighborhoods” to more easily connect patients and caregivers for more efficient care.
  • The addition of a centralized, rooftop helipad will promote continuity of care by providing easy access to the hospital’s operating rooms, inpatient beds and Emergency Department, all with minimal exposure to outdoor elements.
  • Additional family-centered services, spaces and amenities will provide children and their families with supportive services to make their experience more comfortable, accessible and therapeutic.
  • The addition of underground parking will provide weather coverage and accommodate the growth in visitation to the campus.
  • A sustainable building design by FKP Architects that will achieve excellence in energy efficiency and be environmentally friendly.

Under the direction of construction management firm Skanska USA, the three-year project also entails major redesign and renovations to the existing hospital that will provide a more comfortable, efficient and easy-to-navigate facility with expanded outpatient and support services. Patients will benefit from redesigned floor plans that place specialized services near the units that use them.

“The excitement we all feel today will only continue to grow as our hospital expansion reaches toward the sky and the future," said David J. Bailey, MD, MBA, Nemours CEO and President. "Getting us to this point has involved the time, talents, sacrifice, dedication and passion of many Associates, and I’m extraordinarily proud of the superb job that everyone has done.”

About Nemours

Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the two free-standing children’s hospitals: the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Fla., along with outpatient facilities in five states, delivering pediatric primary, specialty and urgent care. Nemours also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens,, and offers on-demand, online video patient visits through Nemours CareConnect. Nemours is a program dedicated to preventing reading failure in young children, grounded in Nemours’ understanding that child health and learning are inextricably linked, and that reading level is a strong predictor of adult health.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.