MADISON (WKOW) -- American Family Children's Hospital celebrated a milestone Friday -- five years in existence.
On August 27, 2007, 40 patients were moved from the children's unit of UW Hospital and Clinics into the $78 million state-of-the-art hospital. Since then, the care center has served more than 600,000 children.
Hospital officials say the Children's Hospital's move into its own building made a huge difference.
"This children's hospital was located within the adult hospital. Most people didn't even know it was there unless they had a patient there. Now we are here as an organization and a facility absolutely dedicated to the care of children and their families," said Donna Katen-Bahensky, President & CEO of UW Hospital and Clinics.
Friday was a celebration of the hospital's past, but also of its future. A $32 million expansion is now underway.
The hospital is in the process of expanding to two more floors, which will add more beds, a universal care unit, and a surgical neonatal intensive care unit which officials say will be the only one of its kind in the area.
The expansion will be funded by the $16.4 million "Sick Kids Can't Wait" campaign and a $15.6 million commitment from UW Hospital and Clinics.
Addressing staff members, Katen-Bahensky said, "I hope when you leave here tomorrow, you'll be thinking this is an even greater place five years from now, 10 years from now and 50 years from now because we will be here to take care of Wisconsin's kids."
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