Collin County is growing rapidly, especially in its need for pediatric care, Dr. Kern Wildenthal was saying. And, “high-end” pediatrics has been especially underserved there. Wildenthal, president of the Children’s Medical Center Foundation, was explaining why the November 6 groundbreaking for the Children’s Health Andrews Institute for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine on the Children’s campus in Plano was such a big deal.
Just then Wildenthal was joined by Christopher J. Durovich, president and CEO of Children’s Health. Durovich said the four-story, 185,000-square-foot, roughly $50 million facility—which had been planned for at least two years—would house the only pediatric-focused orthopedic institute of its kind in North Texas. Plus, he added with a broad smile, it would boast “the coin of the realm in academia and health care”: 1,000 parking spaces!
During the hour-long groundbreaking ceremony that followed, the Children’s Health chief executive said that while organized sports plays an important role in our society, more—and younger—children are suffering some type of orthopedic injury while participating. As a result, Durovich said, “We developed the Children’s Health Andrews Institute to provide tailored care to meet the needs of young athletes, and to be a resource for parents, coaches, and trainers to help prevent injuries.”
Those attending the groundbreaking—including John Eagle and Caren Kline (she’s on the Children’s board)—learned that the new institute will include four operating rooms, an imaging center, physical therapy space, and orthopedic and other pediatric clinics. It will also feature indoor and outdoor athletic performance facilities, including a half-size football field and a running track. Construction by general contractor McCarthy Building Cos.—in conjunction with architect FKP—is scheduled for completion in 2017.
The institute was developed under the direction of Alabama-based Dr. James R. Andrews, an internationally renowned orthopedic surgeon who attended the groundbreaking. Andrews, who called the facility “a dream come true,” admitted that his son lives close to the institute. “That’s one of the reasons I did this,” he said. “I want my [grandchildren] to be safe!”
* Graphic and photo provided by Children's Health