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CHLA plans $65 million expansion

by Mary Ellen Stumpfl

Above, an architechtural rendering depicts the completed expansion project.

To keep pace with the increasing demand for its surgical services and the technological advancements in medicine, USC-affiliated Childrens Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) announced Tuesday the expansion and reconfiguration of its surgical spaces with the groundbreaking of its $65 million, 105,000-square-foot Gateway Building and Burtie Green Bettingen Surgery Center.

Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and City Council member Jackie Goldberg attended the groundbreaking ceremony. They were joined by Ron Gother, chairman of the hospital’s Board of Directors, Anna Murdoch and Marion Anderson of the CHLA Board of Regents, as well as hospital CEO Bill Noce, John Quinn, CHLA foundation president, and Kathryn Anderson, professor of pediatrics and chief of surgery at CHLA.

CHLA is a global resource for advanced pediatric care, research, and medical education, with 30 specialties and 31 specialty-focused services. It houses an internationally recognized research institute and, since 1932, has trained pediatric specialists and conducted cutting-edge research through its affiliation with the USC School of Medicine.

The volume of surgical cases at CHLA has increased an average of 5 percent annually, from just over 8,000 procedures in 1993 to more than 10,000 today, requiring over 20,000 surgical hours. The hospital performs more than twice the number of complex pediatric surgical procedures as any other hospital in Southern California and boasts the area’s only specialized surgical staff dedicated solely to children.

The Gateway Building will serve as the new entrance to the hospital. When it opens in early 2001, it will be the cornerstone for the hospital’s Centennial Celebration.

The Gateway Building will become the central pedestrian hub for the hospital. Its first floor public interiors and exterior landscaping were developed in concert with volunteers from Walt Disney Imagineering, who donated their time to create the child-sensitive environment important in a facility dedicated to children. Many of the volunteers were once CHLA patients themselves or had family members or friends who once were.

The first floor of the Gateway Building will house the 180-foot long, two-story high John Stauffer lobby, the Weingart patient admissions area, a blood donation and processing facility, pre-operative and post-operative preparatory and waiting areas, surgical support and scheduling offices, the hospital’s Gift Shop and a McDonald’s restaurant.

The second floor will house the Burtie Green Bettingen Surgery Center featuring 15 state-of-the-art operating rooms, special procedures units and recovery facilities, as well as surgical staff support areas, all connected by a bridge to the critical care units within the main hospital building.

The Associates’ Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery will be located within the Surgery Center and will be one of the few facilities in the nation devoted to minimizing the impact of surgery on young patients.

These procedures will result in smaller incisions, less pain, and faster recovery for children.

“We needed something new, something that will allow more efficient and cost-effective delivery of pediatric surgery, with space and equipment to perform procedures ranging from the routine to the most complex,” said Anderson. “All aspects of its design take care to honor the child and the family, because they are our reason for being.”

Below grade will be the central plant housing all the necessary utilities to support the existing facilities, including the Gateway Building, and any utility requirements for future expansion projects.

CHLA plans $65 million expansion

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