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Baptist Health celebrates groundbreaking on a new Entry Building/Wolfson Children’s Critical Care Tower

Jacksonville, FL —

Baptist Health board members, executives, elected officials and community members joined together on Tuesday, May 14 at 10am to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new seven-story building, featuring a five-floor Wolfson Children’s Critical Care Tower.  

When completed in early 2021, the new building will serve as the new front entrance to both Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, which provide our region with highly specialized services, including pediatric trauma care.

Program speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony included Richard Sisisky, chair of the Baptist Health Board of Directors; Hugh Greene, president and CEO of Baptist Health; John Wilbanks, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Baptist Health; Michael Mayo, president of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville; and Michael Aubin, president of Wolfson Children’s Hospital of Jacksonville.

Ceremonial groundbreakers included Richard Sisisky; Hugh Greene; John Wilbanks; Michael Mayo; Michael Aubin; Keith Stein, MD, chief medical officer and senior vice president of Medical Affairs & Clinical Effectiveness at Baptist Health; Keith Tickell, vice president of Strategic Assets/Real Estate at Baptist Health; Cicely (CC) Brooks, vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nurse executive at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville; Robyn Stemmer, director of pediatric inpatient services at Wolfson Children’s Hospital; Jennifer Southall, director of perinatal services at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville; Kimberly Hansen, system director of construction and design management at Baptist Health; George Armstrong, MD, former chief medical officer at Wolfson Children’s Hospital; LeeAnna Cumber, incoming Jacksonville City Council member, District 5; Lori Boyer, current Jacksonville City Council member, District 5; Eric Sandler, MD, chair of the Wolfson Children’s Hospital Board of Directors; Gracie, 6 and Declan, 6, both Wolfson Children’s NICU graduates.

The building is designed to make it easy for patients and visitors to find their way anywhere in the medical center, as well as to increase visibility and accessibility from I-95. To enhance convenience and safety, it will be linked directly to the medical center’s new multi-level parking deck by a skybridge over Palm Avenue.

“This new building will be our new ‘front door,’ essentially reorienting our entire campus,” said Mayo. “We intend to create an extraordinary patient and family experience for all who enter.”

Aubin said the new Wolfson Children’s Critical Care Tower will include a high-level 75-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Center, as well as a 26-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The Neonatal Intensive Care Center will be comprised of three separate units, replacing the current 56-bed Level II and Level III Neonatal ICUs (NICUs) at Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

Aubin explained: “Wolfson Children’s Hospital is receiving more and more critically ill infants and children from cities well outside of Jacksonville. It is our responsibility to ensure that our young patients are met with world-class care in the most advanced facilities.”

The new Neonatal Intensive Care Center will provide a 25% increase in beds and the new PICU will increase its number of beds by 30%. These added beds will bring the hospital’s total to 272, making Wolfson Children’s Hospital the second-largest children’s hospital in Florida. Wolfson Children’s is the only full-service children’s hospital in North Florida and South Georgia, and provides the region’s only Neonatal Surgical Center.

The new Wolfson Children’s Critical Care Tower will integrate with Baptist Jacksonville’s high-risk obstetrics and neonatal delivery center for seamless continuity of care, and will feature:

  • Private patient/family NICU suites with space to comfortably sleep two parents, full showers and bathrooms, separate parent wardrobes, and a unique room on each floor for the joint care of mothers who require post-delivery stay.
  • State-of-the-art equipment and technology that support advanced workflows and provide all of the needed resources for physicians and clinical teams, with minimal infant disruption.
  • Rooms designed to encourage family involvement with patients, which is proven to promote quicker healing, recovery and growth, and ultimately lead to earlier discharges home.
  • Windows in every patient room, allowing for natural light, which accelerates and supports healing in postpartum mothers as well as infants and children.
  • Entertainment/education systems so parents can access our extensive learning library of information on care for their child and enjoy distraction from the stress that comes with having a critically ill infant or child.

Aubin emphasized, “The new Wolfson Children’s Critical Care Tower will be an incredibly beautiful facility, inside and out. But what matters most is the life-saving care and treatment that will occur within its walls, thanks to our top-ranked team members and medical faculty.”

Services provided at Wolfson Children’s Hospital are provided primarily by pediatric physician specialists with Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville, University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville and Emergency Resources Group.

Aubin concluded: “The new Wolfson Children’s Critical Care Tower will impact families for decades to come. We are grateful to our donors, whose generous support of our mission makes it possible for us to provide the highest level of care for our most vulnerable patients.”

Representatives from DPR Construction, Perry-McCall Construction, Inc., and FreemanWhite were also in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony.