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Penn State Health Children’s Hospital commemorates a decade in freestanding pediatric facility

Penn State Health Children’s Hospital is celebrating 10 years since opening the doors of the region’s only freestanding building designed for the expert care of children. Improving children’s quality of life has been a priority of Penn State Health since its inception.

Soon after Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center accepted its first patients in 1970, leadership began committing staff and resources to pediatric care; dedicating the seventh floor of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center exclusively to pediatrics in the 1980s. For decades, pioneering leaders, buoyed by generous community support, enhanced the quality of local pediatric care, evolving to open the standalone Children’s Hospital in February 2013 – a modern facility to match the comprehensive and compassionate care that had long been provided to children from across Pennsylvania and beyond at Hershey Medical Center.

“The Children’s Hospital embodies the best of our collective drive, expertise and vision to provide children with the highest quality treatment and support, and to meet the needs of the sickest patients through leading edge specialty care,” said Dr. Yatin Vyas, pediatrician-in-chief, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network and Four Diamonds Endowed Chair in Pediatrics. “We are grateful to all who have championed this vision through their efforts and generosity.”

Providers, researchers, staff and philanthropic partners have continued to further pediatric treatments and marked several milestones over the last decade, including:

Ten years of the freestanding Penn State Health Children's Hospital

With the help of many generous donors, Hershey Medical Center broke ground on the initial five-floor, 263,000-square-foot Children’s Hospital in 2009. In 2020, the Children’s Hospital celebrated a new era of patient- and family-centered care with a 126,000-square-foot, three-floor vertical expansion. The expansion added more pediatric beds for enhanced access to nationally-ranked care in central Pennsylvania. It features state-of-the-art technology, a new Women and Babies Center, a 56-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and a Small Baby Unit, created specifically for growth and improved brain development in premature babies. In addition to the Women and Babies Center, the Labor and Delivery Unit and the NICU, which were located in the adult portion of Hershey Medical Center, are now at home on the seventh and eighth floors of the expanded Children’s Hospital.

“We look forward to many more years of growth, innovation and providing the best possible treatment to our patients,” said Vyas.

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