AUSTIN -- Workers continue to put the finishing touches on the new wing of Dell Children's Medical Center.
Construction on the W.H. and Elaine McCarty South Tower began in October of 2011. On Monday May 6, the new facility, which adds 72 more beds, will start admitting patients.
"Everything that we're doing here - again, I must stress - is dedicated to that little kid running around,” said Dr. Dave Clarke, director of the hospital’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, which is housed in the new wing. The epilepsy monitoring equipment there is available in less than 10 percent of pediatric hospitals across the country.
Dr. Clarke says the facilities, while catering to kids, will help doctors better evaluate and treat epileptic patients. "Phenomenal. Phenomenal. And I feel that way not only for me and my colleagues, I feel that way for the kids,” he remarked.
Not only does this new wing of the hospital allow doctors to better treat sick kids, it also allows parents and their kids to stay in Central Texas as opposed to traveling elsewhere for medical care.
Dr. Maureen Nelso, medical director of physical medicine and the rehabilitation center, is very happy those patients can stay in town. "Usually for inpatient rehab, usually it's about (a) three week stay, so it’s very disruptive for families to have to take everyone there, and now they'll be able to do it right here in Austin,” she explained.
This brand-new facility, along with the state-of-the-art equipment, makes the doctors feel like kids in a candy store. "It's probably not politically correct to jump up and down, but that's the feeling inside,” said Dr. Clarke laughing.
However, these doctors know the best feeling is seeing their young patients on the mend.