For what seems like eons, rumors have swirled about a possible expansion of Children’s Medical Center Dallas. But now, like proud fathers, Children’s Health President and CEO Christopher Durovich and UT Southwestern Medical Center President Dr. Daniel Podolsky are beaming with the official announcement of a new, $5 billion pediatric health care center.
To describe as “awesome” the center that’s scheduled to open in the next six to seven years in Dallas’ Southwestern Medical District — replacing the existing Children’s Medical Center Dallas — might be an understatement.
Thanks to the Children’s-UT Southwestern partnership, the 2 million-square foot facility will be situated on more than 33 acres on the UT Southwestern Campus, at the corner of Harry Hines Boulevard and Mockingbird Lane, across from UTSW’s William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital.
According to Podolsky, “The pediatric campus is the next chapter in our more than 60-year partnership with Children’s Health and will elevate clinical innovation and transformative science that will benefit pediatric patients and their families for generations to come. The expertise on our campus, supported by state-of-the-art technologies and facilities, will enhance our commitment to excellence and compassion in providing the very best care for children and position us to accelerate the future of pediatric medicine together.”
With two 12-story towers and an 8-story tower initially providing 552 beds—a 38% increase over what’s available at the current facility—the new campus will also provide 15% more emergency-department space and 22% more operating-room space.
The new facility will include:
- The only Level 1 pediatric trauma center in the region, with 90 Emergency Room pods and 24 observation rooms.
- 96 Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit beds, more that double the current facility’s 47 beds.
- A connector bridge between the new campus and Clements University Hospital to ensure babies at Clements have immediate access to care in the Children’s Health Level IV NICU and Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit.
- A two-story surgical suite with 20 operating rooms.
- Two helicopter pads to reduce the transfer time of patients.
- Two parking garages for 6,000+ vehicles, as opposed to the current garage that can only accommodate 4,198.
The expansion is just part of the Children’s Health commitment to address the future growth of North Texas, which is considered “one of the nation’s fastest-growing and largest metropolitan areas.”
Regarding the partnership between the two health care groups, Durovich said, “For more than 110 years, Children’s Health has served the children of North Texas, adapting and growing with the needs of our community. This new pediatric campus, a joint investment with UT Southwestern, enhances our shared capacity to provide comprehensive care for children, including those with the most complex medical and surgical needs. It enables us to continue pioneering academic research, life-saving treatments, and industry-leading technology for pediatric patients for generations to come.”
According to Claritas Pop-Facts demographic data, “the pediatric population in the Dallas-Fort Worth region is almost 2.5M [and is] expected to grow by more than 20% by 2032, surpassing 3M children, and double in size by 2050.”
Addressing fundraising efforts for the new facility, Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher said, “The new pediatric campus in Dallas is one of the most significant investments ever made by Children’s Health and UT Southwestern. It will be a game-changer for children, families and the medical community for generations to come. Community support will play a vital role in building the new campus. This community is always incredibly generous! Our children count on high-quality health care, and you’ve helped make that a reality for more than 110 years. We can’t wait to bring this project to life together with the people of North Texas, and we’ll share more details soon about our joint fundraising.”
The following comparisons indicate the size and scale of the new campus:
- The hospital, set to be 240 feet tall, would tower over the Statue of Liberty, which is 151 feet tall.
- The new pediatric campus, which is set to include 4.5M square feet of constructed space — including the parking garages and a thermal plant — will be larger than AT&T Stadium, which is 3M square feet.
- Set to be 800 feet long, the new pediatric campus will be equal in length to nearly six Boeing 737 airplanes lined up end to end.
While the numbers may be impressive, and the undertaking is daunting, the sole purpose of the new pediatric campus is to support the hospital’s compassionate and remarkably talented staff as it works to accommodate the health-care needs of generations to come.
* Conceptual rendering provided by Children's Health