February 25, 2000

State grants Certificate of Need to build new VCH

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Dr. Raymond DuBois

State grants Certificate of Need to build new VCH

Vanderbilt University Medical Center was given the green light on Wednesday by the State Health Facilities Commission, receiving a Certificate of Need to build its new nine-floor, 206-bed, freestanding Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.

The new hospital, designed to be one of the most family-centered children's hospitals in the country, will be located near The Vanderbilt Clinic, across the street from the Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital.

The state Certificate of Need (CON) process requires that entities applying for a new facility or addition demonstrate that the project is necessary to provide needed health care in the area to be served. Second, it must be proven that it can economically be accomplished and maintained. Third, it must be demonstrated that it will contribute to the orderly development of adequate and effective health care facilities or services in the area. VUMC's application for the CON was filed in October and has been reviewed by the Health Facilities Commission for the past three months.

The completion of the CON process clears the way for a groundbreaking for the new facility, planned for May 15.

"The scope and size of the hospital is designed to accommodate regional growth over the next 10 years and to create new space to better support the patients and their families through family-centered care," said Norman B. Urmy, executive director of clinical affairs. "We are thrilled and very grateful to the state for recognizing the tremendous benefit a freestanding children's hospital will offer the people of Middle Tennessee, southern Kentucky and northern Alabama."

When complete, the building will consist of four large "base" floors, including the basement, housing the support services, Pediatric Emergency Department and public areas.

A group of 28 design committees has been involved in the planning process for the new building over the past two years, meeting regularly with VCH officials and the architects from Earl Swensson and Associates to come up with the best plan.

An intense fundraising effort begun in 1999 has raised more than $50 million to be applied toward the total cost.

Monroe J. Carell Jr., the chairman and chief executive officer of Central Parking Corp., and his wife, Ann, are leading the effort.