New University of Iowa Children’s Hospital Nears Completion

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IOWA CITY, Iowa -- For the past four years, work on the new University of Iowa Children's Hospital has been underway. The project is now less than 100 days from opening to patients.

The $360 million project is designed to create a more home-like atmosphere for kids and their families. Developers say it's state of the art down to the last detail.

"It's all around the patient, patient-focused construction," said Jason Miller, UI Hospital and Clinics Project Management Director.

The 14-floor facility has 130 single patient rooms. The tower is equipped with everything needed to care for kids. For the first time, the hospital will have MRI's, CT's, Ultrasounds and other medical equipment specially designed for pint-sized patients.

No detail is too small. Even the art on the wall serves a purpose. It provides a welcome distraction for kids about to go into surgery.

"There's a great level of energy, and excitement and knowing the impact it's going to have across the state and I think the hope it's going to give people to help us better care for kids," said Scott Turner, UI Children's Hospital Executive Director.

One of those kids is Christina Grimes' daughter. 15-month-old Nadia was born with a rare heart defect known as a vascular ring where the aorta is wrapped around the airway.

"She's like the number 13 case in the world," said Grimes.

The little girl is about to have her 5th surgery. Each time the Grimes family travels from Des Moines to Iowa City. The emotional and financial stress is worth it to get the best care possible for their daughter whether it's in the new or the old hospital. A GoFundMe page has been established.

"She will have the greatest care," said Grimes.

"We have world-class people here but we're providing them an environment that's commensurate with the care and service they provide every day," said Turner.

Construction on the new tower should be complete in time for hospital staff to move in around Thanksgiving. The Children's Hospital is on schedule and budget to open to patients on December 10th.