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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2008

Governor Blagojevich breaks ground on the new Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital
Joins local leaders and hospital staff to celebrate state-of-the-art research and treatment facility

CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today helped break ground on the construction of the new Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to treating children worldwide and accommodating the needs of their families.  A $100 million gift, the largest contribution in the hospital’s 25-year history, was provided by Ann Lurie and will be used to help create the new hospital in Chicago's Streeterville community and to enhance its pediatric research initiatives.  In March, Governor Blagojevich announced that the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) provided approval for $650 million in federally tax-exempt healthcare bonds to finance the new hospital’s construction.
 
“This is a momentous day in Illinois.  We break ground on a genuinely modern and progressive facility committed to caring for the most vulnerable of our society - our children.  Families and children from around the world come to Children’s Memorial Hospital to get the treatment they need,” said Governor Blagojevich.  “This hospital will help provide thousands of new jobs and re-emphasize that Illinois is a leader when it comes to quality health care.  The generosity of Ms. Lurie is truly inspirational and I applaud her for her compassionate gift.”
 
On March 12, 2008, Governor Blagojevich announced that the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) provided final approval for up to $650 million in federally tax-exempt healthcare bonds on behalf of Children’s Memorial Hospital to be used to finance its construction.  Children’s Memorial has a long-standing partnership with the State of Illinois in providing cutting-edge specialty care to our neediest children.  The hospital is the State of Illinois’ primary partner in providing services to Medicaid-eligible children, providing approximately 30% more inpatient, outpatient, and physician pediatric Medicaid services than the next highest provider in Illinois.  These children come from every corner of the state and rely on the more than 70 specialties provided by the hospitals medical staff.
 
The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago will be built on property located at 225 E. Chicago Avenue. The new hospital is scheduled to open in 2012 and will be a 22-story building with 288 single-patient rooms.  The new building will be 1.25 million square feet – 45% larger than the current location. Each room is estimated to be 290 square feet, more than double the current size.  This allows for more technology at the patient's bedside.  In addition, every patient will have their own room in the new building.
 
The site is on the campus of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, its pediatric teaching partner, next to the new Prentice Women’s Hospital, between Chicago Avenue and Superior Street.  This campus location will enhance the hospital’s ability to recruit pediatric sub-specialists to Illinois from a shrinking nationwide pool, improve transition to adult care for its patients, and better coordinate care for critically ill and injured newborns at Prentice Women’s Hospital.
 
The construction phase will generate approximately 15,500 new jobs and $1.5 billion in business activity statewide between now and its completion in 2012.  The new hospital will also provide for a 30% increase in staff growth. 
 
Last year, the current Children’s Memorial Hospital treated 113,352 children.  This includes children transferred from more than 100 other hospitals and 4,500 other physicians.  Over the last two years, Children’s Memorial treated children from every county in Illinois, 36 other states, and 33 countries around the world.  Currently, the hospital has nearly 1,100 pediatric doctors with more than 70 specialties.
 


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