Shriners Hospitals for Children Announces Plan to Build New $47 million Facility

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Shriners Hospitals for Children® and UK HealthCare sign agreement to build new hospital on University of Kentucky Campus

“Relocating to the UK HealthCare campus will bring together the pediatric orthopaedic expertise Shriners is known for with the top-rated specialty and subspecialty pediatric care at Kentucky Children's Hospital

Shriners Hospitals for Children® and UK HealthCare have signed an agreement that will change the current location of Shriners Hospitals for Children - Lexington from 1900 Richmond Road to South Limestone across from the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital. The new facility will be a state-of-the-art ambulatory care center, owned and operated by Shriners Hospitals for Children, and designed to better meet the orthopaedic needs of children and their families well into the future.

“The quality care children and families have experienced at our facility since 1926 will continue” said Tony Lewgood, administrator of Shriners Hospitals for Children - Lexington. “Relocating to the UK HealthCare campus will bring together the pediatric orthopaedic expertise Shriners is known for with the top-rated specialty and subspecialty pediatric care at Kentucky Children's Hospital – a benefit to children with complex conditions. Close proximity to a first-rate medical center will also enhance the education and research aspects of our mission.”

Achievements and advances in orthopaedic care for children have changed since the current Shriners Hospitals for Children – Lexington was built in 1988. Fewer children require inpatient care while the number of children receiving outpatient care has increased significantly. This year 78 percent of the hospital’s surgical cases have been performed without the child requiring an overnight stay.

The pediatric orthopaedic physician practice, which uses the current Shriners facility, is treating an increasing number of children. Since 1988 the number of children cared for has more than doubled. In 2014, there are over 10,800 children from Kentucky and the surrounding states who come to the Lexington Shriners Hospital to see their physician specialist and receive related services. The new facility will expand capacity to over 13,000 children.

The pediatric orthopaedic surgeons currently on staff at the Lexington Shriners Hospital are also on staff at Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Children who require inpatient hospital care will be admitted to Kentucky Children’s Hospital and cared for by the same physicians they are familiar with and trust.

“The University of Kentucky and the Lexington Shriners Hospital have long traditions of excellence and commitment when it comes to providing the best in specialty and subspecialty pediatric care,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, executive vice president for health affairs at UK. “It only makes sense in this environment, where health reform and the economy are pushing us to maximize efficiency and quality that we partner with Shriners Hospitals for Children to enhance the care we provide.”

The estimated cost of the new Shriners Hospitals for Children® Medical Center – Lexington is $47 million. The top two floors of the five-story building will be leased to the University of Kentucky for ophthalmology services. Construction is slated to begin in early 2015 with anticipated build time of two years. Funding sources for the new facility are a capital campaign slated to kick off Oct. 23, proceeds from the sale of the current facility, and Shriners Hospitals for Children Endowment.

Shriners Hospitals for Children Lexington is launching an $8 million capital campaign to help build the new medical center. The campaign kickoff will be held at the Hyatt Regency ballroom in downtown Lexington from 11:30am to 1:00pm on Thursday, October 23rd. There will be presentations covering the work of Shriners Hospital and plans for the new facility, including remarks by Mayor Jim Gray. The public is invited to attend this complimentary luncheon by calling 859-268-5768 or by emailing dwallenius(at)shrinenet(dot)org.

“Campaign co-chair Allen Grimes, President of Dupree & Co., Inc., noted, “Shriners Hospital Lexington has been quietly helping children overcome physical challenges for almost 90 years. Today they treat nearly 11,000 children annually in a 5-state area with 1,000 of those patients coming from right here in Lexington. Their new facility will be state-of-the art and will allow Shriners to treat an additional 2,000 children. We are very fortunate to have such a well-respected institution as part of our local community.”

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Gregory Pettit