OLOL unveils proposed Children's Hospital

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Our Lady of the Lake unveiled a high-resolution rendering Thursday morning of its proposed freestanding Children's Hospital, which is set to be built on property that runs parallel to I-10 between Essen Lane and Bluebonnet Boulevard.
"While there are many steps that must be completed over the next six to eight months before we can finalize our vision, we are excited to share an exterior rendering and project update," Terrie Sterling, the chief operating officer, said in a written release.
Sterling said HKS Architects and hospital officials are finalizing the design of the hospital while final approvals are sought from the Planning and Zoning Commission. A community open house will be held for public input Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the OLOL auditorium on the main campus.
Plans include an emergency room, inpatient beds, surgical facilities and a dedicated hematology/oncology unit. A medical office building would also be connected to the hospital.
Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital is one of seven St. Jude affiliates nationwide and one of the biggest providers of pediatric care in Louisiana.
"We understand children are not small adults and they require unique care in a specialized environment with equipment designed especially
for them," Dr. Shaun Kemmerly, chief medical officer of the Children's Hospital, said. "Our goal is to design and build a hospital that will further advance care and research for children through greater recruitment of pediatric specialists, building upon our successful pediatric residency program that trains future Louisiana pediatricians and capitalizing upon strategic partnerships like that of our relationship with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital."
OLOL Children's Hospital treats about 100,000 patients annually from across the region.

"Having a freestanding children's hospital will increase our capabilities to attract highly-trained pediatric specialists, so additional pediatric surgery specialists that we don't have in our community today," Kemmerly added.

The hospital is now in the permitting process and hopes to break ground late this year. If all goes according to plan, the new Children's Hospital will open in 2018.

Copyright 2015 WAFB. All rights reserved.