Children’s Hospital launches ICU campaign

The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart is launching a $19 million project to build a new pediatric intensive care unit and new operating rooms designed specifically for pediatric surgeries. Construction will begin early next year and should be completed in January 2021.

The 10-bed pediatric intensive care unit will replace a PICU built 25 years ago at the former Children’s Hospital building on Ascension Sacred Heart’s Ninth Avenue campus. The six operating rooms and two new procedure rooms mean that pediatric surgeries will no longer be performed in the same ORs currently used for adult surgeries.

“This investment in specialized pediatric facilities reflects our ongoing commitment to provide the children and families of our region with the safest, highest level of care,” said Will Condon, president of the Children’s Hospital. “No other hospital in Northwest Florida provides this level of expertise, training, technology and equipment that is dedicated solely to caring for children. That includes the skills of our pediatric surgeons, pediatric anesthesiologists, hospitalists and specialists in pediatric intensive care.”

The new four-story, 126-bed Studer Family Children’s Hospital includes a neonatal intensive care unit, medical/surgical beds, a pediatric imaging department, pharmacy, inpatient rehabilitation gym, child life playrooms, outpatient lab services and a new family-friendly dining venue.

“The physical, emotional and developmental needs of children are quite different from adults, so when they are sick or injured, they need pediatric facilities and physicians, nurses and therapists trained for their care,” said Dr. Bryan Weidner, a pediatric surgeon at the Children’s Hospital. “Their bones are still growing, their blood vessels, organs and airways are much smaller, their hearts beat faster, and the dosages of anesthesia and other drugs have to be different. This means the clinical care and treatment environment for children must be different from care of adults, which is what we provide here at Northwest Florida’s only children’s hospital. The addition of these new operating rooms helps us bring our pediatric care to the next level.”

More than 120 pediatric doctors serve on the Children’s Hospital’s medical staff, caring for kids across 30 pediatric specialties. For more information, visit