Monday, September 24, 2018
BJC, SLCH | BJC HealthCare was formed 25 years ago — in June 1993. To celebrate the anniversary, BJC TODAY is highlighting each of BJC’s hospitals and service organizations on this page in celebration of 25 years of improving the health of the communities it serves.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital was founded in 1879. It was established by a group of physicians and women who believed the city needed a refuge for poor, sick children.
At the time, only half of children in urban St. Louis lived past age 5. This was due to dirty, crowded conditions, water contamination and lack of medical care and hygiene.
The first hospital opened in a small, rented home in downtown St. Louis with 15 beds.
Five years later, the hospital was moved to a significantly larger building on Jefferson Avenue. In 1915, the hospital moved again to a larger facility, this time at 500 S. Kingshighway Blvd., just a block south of the current facility.
Care for kids here, worldwide
Today, SLCH, the oldest children’s hospital west of the Mississippi River and the seventh oldest in the United States, receives about 300,000 patient visits a year. The hospital team has served children from all 50 states and about 80 countries.
The hospital provides a full range of pediatric services. As the pediatric teaching hospital for Washington University School of Medicine, SLCH offers nationally recognized programs for physician training and research.
Over the years, SLCH has changed in ways that would have surely astonished its founders. Yet its mission remains the same: to do what’s right for kids — for every patient, every family, every day. SLCH is a place where sick children receive the gifts of hope and healing — but they receive more than care for their physical conditions. Their emotional and social needs receive attention, too.
1984: A new home for SLCH
In April 1984, SLCH marked the opening of a new, $84 million, 12-story facility at One Children’s Place that took three years to build. With 235 beds and 500,000 square feet, it had more than twice the space and 53 more beds than the old facility.
The new building featured dedicated pediatric radiology and surgery space. Patients previously had to be transported to the adult hospital for these services.
SLCH became part of BJC in 1994. The union led to several building expansions and renovations since the late 1990s. These include new emergency, ICU and single-occupancy patient rooms.
Caring beyond the hospital walls
Today, SLCH at One Children’s Place is bigger than ever. In January 2018, a new 12-story, 222,000-square-foot expansion opened. It added 96 pediatric beds and 40 new, private newborn intensive care unit (NICU) beds connected to the labor and delivery area in Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s Parkview Tower via a new pedestrian bridge.
SLCH now has 390 licensed beds, including a 41-bed pediatric intensive care unit, 38-bed heart center,
125-bed NICU, and 16-bed pediatric bone marrow transplant unit.
SLCH is much more than just a hospital today. In partnership with Washington University, pediatric facilities and services have expanded further throughout the metro area in Missouri and Illinois. New locations include the Children’s Specialty Care Center in west St. Louis County and Children’s After Hours, a convenient care, in south St. Louis County. And SLCH has expanded to provide 24/7 pediatric emergency care at Northwest HealthCare, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, Progress West Hospital, Memorial Hospital Belleville and Memorial Hospital East.
Hospital community outreach efforts bring pediatric services to medically underserved children and families throughout the region. For example, through the region’s first dedicated pediatric mobile health program,
the Healthy Kids Express mobile health vans have brought screenings, asthma and dental care, free of charge, to more than 100,000 children throughout the area. Such support leads to better school attendance and a better chance for a positive outcome in life.
Points of distinction
Did you know?
SLCH is ranked within the top 10 percent of all children’s hospitals nationally in patient satisfaction, U.S. News & World Report outcomes and Magnet recognition (nursing excellence).
In recognition of the anniversary, BJC TODAY asked several St. Louis Children’s Hospital team members: Knowing what you know today, what advice would you give yourself 25 years ago?
Here’s what they had to say:
“Plan. But if life doesn’t always go as planned, that’s OK.”
— Danielle Watson, patient access
“Be patient — this, too, shall pass. Whether a physician departs or charting changes, we’ll find a way to meet the challenge. You need to be flexible to work here, because we’re always changing.”
— Tammy Nelson, Heart Center
“Don’t worry — someday you’ll stop wetting the bed.”
— Dr. Dan Mamel, pediatric resident
See more about BJC's 25th anniversary below:
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