Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital hopes a three-story, 6,300-square-foot addition will mean families will wait a few weeks, rather than months, for appointments.
The hospital will move and expand its behavioral health program and the program for children who have severe feeding issues. This will free up 2,500 square feet in the existing building, which it will renovate and use for weight loss, rehabilitation and other clinical programs.
Mt. Washington Pediatric is spending about $3.5 million on the addition and renovations to the main building. Construction on the expansion gets underway this month and will take about a year to complete. Mt. Washington plans to hire as many as 12 over the next two years as it expands.
The addition and renovation is distinct from its recent $9 million renovation, which included three completed projects
: a new neonatal care unit, a new canopy for ambulances, and an upgraded lobby. Those three projects were financed through fundraising.
The construction and renovation is part of a long-term strategic plan for the 25-year-old building on Rogers Avenue in North Baltimore. The ten-year plan includes expanding some of the hospital’s key programs, including behavioral and mental health, feeding, rehabilitation, childhood obesity and sleep studies.
Mt. Washington Pediatric’s Feeding Day Program provides intensive help for children who have difficulty eating. The expansion will allow it to serve 12 infants instead of eight.
The second program to expand, the Behavioral Health Program, assesses and assists children with learning disabilities and mental health challenges. It also has a lengthy waitlist.
“You can imagine as a parent if you call to get an appointment to meet with one of our specialists to find out about strategies for parenting and behavior management, and being told you have to wait three or four months. That’s pretty stressful,” says Mt. Washington CEO Sheldon Stein.
Stein emphasizes that in this era of financial uncertainty in the healthcare industry, the hospital is proceeding very cautiously with the expansion. The $3.5 million is being financed through the hospital’s normal capital budget process, spread out over two years.
Mt. Washington is nestled in a residential community. The hospital met with about a half dozen nearby homeowners, who all gave their approval of the project.
Writer: Amy Landsman
Source: Sheldon Stein, CEO, Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital