University of Missouri Health Care (MU Health Care) held a ground-breaking ceremony for a children’s hospital project in Columbia, Missouri.

The project involves building a new tower that will house its new Children’s Hospital. The facility will be located on the MU Health Care’s main hospital campus on the corner of Hitt and Lake streets.

The existing Children’s Hospital on Keene Street will be relocated to the new hospital building, which is set to open in 2024.

The shift is part of a larger plan that aims to create a centralised hospital campus to provide all services at one place for patients of all ages.

MU Health Care CEO Jonathan Curtright said: “At the heart of our Children’s Hospital is our mission to save and improve the lives of children and their families so each child can live the healthiest, most fulfilling life possible.

“This brand-new Children’s Hospital will reimagine the way we deliver paediatric care and bring together all of our highly specialised teams.”

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The new building will feature interactive clinic areas, special outdoor areas for kids to play, additional spaces to relax as well as flower gardens.

It will include rooms with built-in flexibility, a dedicated kid-friendly entrance to expedite check-ins and appointment navigation as well as ADA accessible shuttle to help visitors to move to and from their vehicles.

MU Health Care chief hospital operations officer Keri Simon said: “By building this brand-new Children’s Hospital from the ground up, we are able to be creative and strategic.

“We are keeping families and their needs firmly in mind with this new facility. Every detail has been designed to provide the best healing environment possible.”

Some of the services is expected to start moving to the main hospital campus in some weeks as part of a three-year transition to integrate children’s and women’s services at one place.

In the first phase, paediatric services including inpatient services and ICU, emergency services, paediatric surgeries as well as the Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Unit will be moved to the main campus. This process is expected to commence next month

Once the new tower opens in 2024, women’s services including the labour and delivery unit, and the NICU will be transferred to the main campus.