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November 11, 2011 - USA Children's & Women's Hospital Marks Topping Out of New Expansion - Archived

Administrator Owen Bailey gestures toward the "topping out" tree.
MOBILE – One year ago this month, construction started on the expansion of the University of South Alabama Children’s & Women’s Hospital. In “topping out” ceremonies today, hospital patients gave the signal and a tree was hoisted to the top of the five-level addition.

Hospital administrator Owen Bailey joined patients, physicians, nurses, staff and hundreds of construction workers as a giant crane lifted a 12-foot Arizona Cypress to the highest point of the skeletal structure. At 195,000 square feet, the expansion will nearly double the hospital’s size when it is completed in early 2013.

“It is remarkable that we have come so far in such a short time,” Bailey said. “That is true not only for this expansion project, but also for our hospital. We are grateful for the support of our community and the confidence you have placed in us.”

The $72.6 million expansion will feature larger patient rooms in keeping with the hospital’s focus on family centered care, more space for the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units and greatly expanded operating room suites. Vital support services such as an enlarged cafeteria and kitchen are included in the expansion.

The topping out ceremony also featured remarks by Dr. Charles Hamm, neonatologist and interim chief of pediatrics at USA and Dan Snyder, vice president of Doster Construction Company, the general contractor for the expansion. Military veterans were also recognized with patriotic music and American flags.

An expectant crowd watches the tree being lifted to the top of the construction site.

USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital is among fewer than ten freestanding hospitals in the country dedicated specifically to the health care needs of children and women, offering Mobile’s only neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, pediatric oncology and sickle cell outpatient center and high-risk obstetrical care. With more than 2,800 births annually, USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital is the area’s leader in deliveries.

The hospital’s Child Life therapy program addresses developmental, physical, and emotional needs of young patients and includes the unique Class Act school that teaches nearly 1,000 children every year. The Evaluation Center is specially equipped and staffed 24/7 to treat urgent health problems in children and women and the Imaging Center offers mammogram results before the patient leaves, as well as a 320-slice CT scanner with customized children’s features. Children’s & Women’s also has the daVinci Si Surgical System, with unprecedented robotic surgery options for children and women.

A giant crane gently sets the tree onto the highest point of the project.

For more information about USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, please visit or call (251) 415-1000.

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