MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A new era in medical care begins in Morgantown with the opening of the WVU Children’s Hospital. The 150-bed facility will bring a new level of care and medical resources to seriously injured or ill kids.
“I don’t know that we could do anything more impactful for the state than to make sure we have comprehensive people, programs and the physical plant to take care of the children of West Virginia,” WVU Medicine President and CEO Albert Wright said.
The $215 million facility not only increases the number of beds at the existing children’s facility, but it also advanced care options, and transforms the neonatal intensive care unit from an open ward to individual rooms. The private rooms will now allow a parent or guardian to stay overnight with children.
The facility also includes the Cecil E. Roberts WVU Children’s Heart Wing. Roberts, a sixth generation coal miner said he was born in a company house with only his mother to care for him and this is a continuation of the UMWA commitment to health care.
“We’re just honored to be a part of this,” Roberts said. “We continue the march started by our grandfathers in the 1940’s and we’re just proud of this.”
Former athletes including Jeff Hostetler, Mark Bulger, Pat McAfee, Jerry West and former WVU Head Coach Don Nehlen all made donations for a special floor- the 10th floor Family Resource Center. The floor includes jerseys, a big screen TV and future plans for Monday Night Football and other activities to give healing children and families a diversion.
“I don’t know the last time I felt so excited,” Hostetler said. ” It was probably when my kids were born, but it’s awesome to be a part of it.”
The floor walk through history of the featured athletes and includes a timeline of WVU athletic achievements. Former coach, Don Nehlen said the floor is like no other in the country and is sure to get national attention in the future.
“I look for ESPN to come up here and shoot footage before our football games on Saturday. “When they get a glimpse of this, it’s going to be something special for them.”
Patients will begin populating the facility on September 29.
It’s really weird, it’s one of those facilities you build and you hope no one ever needs,” Wright said. “But, you’re going to be there when they do and that will be impactful for the state.”
WVU Medicine operates the only Level 1 trauma center in the state for adults, manages two hospitals and owns 17 others, including J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown that is connected to the new children’s hospital.