State’s first Women’s and Children’s Hospital celebrates grand opening

Thursday, September 9, 2010 | 9:30 p.m. CDT; updated 11:16 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 9, 2010
The new MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital features an interactive area in the lobby of the children’s section where children can play during their visit. “This will take their mind off the care they’re receiving,” Matthew Splett, media relations coordinator, said.

COLUMBIA — University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the first hospital in Missouri with 157 beds dedicated to the care of women and children, celebrated its grand opening Thursday.

“MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital will focus on providing a full range of care to women and children at every stage of their lives,” Keri Simon, executive director of the hospital, said in her welcome speech. “We not only serve moms and children in mid-Missouri, but also across the whole state.”


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The hospital will host a public open house and tours from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, with activities for children such as face painting.

The children's hospital features 43 private inpatient rooms decorated in jungle theme, with an average area of 244 square feet. The rooms are equipped with free wireless Internet access and a Wii Gaming system for kids.

“Our pediatric patient rooms reflect the vision we have for all of Children’s Hospital,” said Timothy Fete, medical director of Children’s Hospital and chair of the Department of Child Health at the MU School of Medicine.

Hung Winn, chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at the MU School of Medicine and David Hall, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, said in a news release that 21 physicians will provide a "full range of clinical health services to women of all ages" that range from fertility services to birthing and urogynecologic services.

Thomas Selva, a general pediatrician who has worked at MU Children’s Hospital for 21 years, said he was excited about the new hospital. Selva dropped by last week to take a quiet look around although patients will not arrive until Tuesday. “I am excited with the new state-of-the-art facilities and that all rooms are 100 percent private," he said.

Simon and her colleagues are already talking about adding to the hospital. “Primarily, we need to expand the neonatal intensive care unit." There is no time line for this project.

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