LITTLE ROCK, Ar (KTHV)--The centennial anniversary of the Arkansas Children's Hospital comes with many celebrations--and Wednesday they opened a new South Wing.
The Wing was opened and ready for tours after a ribbon cutting by board of directors, staff and Governor Beebe.
One hundred years of helping, healing, hoping. And today Arkansas Children's Hospital opened another door to its future...a 258,000 square foot addition. Exciting for staff, promising for patients.
The crowd smiles and cheers as ACH cuts the ribbon on the new South Wing -- its largest expansion to date.
Governor Mike Beebe, along with some "special helpers" made it a grand event. As Governor Beebe helps a child with her scissors he says, "Keep going! Keep going! You got it. Atta girl!" and the crowd laughed.
Sr. Vice President and COO David Berry is proud of the accomplishment.
Berry says, "We are so excited. It's been several years coming and we have had some bumps along the way with the economy and some other things--but generous Arkansans have made a huge difference in helping us unwrap this gift for our state."
MANY of those donors came to celebrate Wednesday and brought their families. 11-year-old Chase McCarver doesn't have a lot to say but what he does say--says it ALL.
"Well, my grandmother gave money for my brother who died here when he was born because he had heart problems."
Stories like that are the reason this hospital does what it does.
A tour of the 4-story unit is impressive: An emergency department with 5 trauma bays and 33 private exam rooms.
54 new in-patient beds.
Berry says, "It's got a new clinic and new inpatient unit for children with cancer and blood diseases. It's got an expansion to our new neo-natal intensive care unit and an expansion to our heart center!"
More than those units, this is the state's only pediatric medical center--and it's ALL ABOUT the kids, so there's gotta be more play space! McCarver's visited the hospital before--and he "approves" of the new expansion.
He says, "Well it makes me feel safe for when I get hurt."
And, with this addition, Arkansas Children's Hospital can offer a safe place for children for another 100 years.