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Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia’s New Oupatient Care Center in Plainsboro

By Greta Cuyler

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will open a new outpatient pediatric specialty care center in Plainsboro in late January. The first pediatric hospital in the nation, CHOP was ranked No. 1 on the U.S. News & World’s Report 2014-15 Honor Roll of the nation’s Best Children’s Hospitals. CHOP’s new building, located on the campus of the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, will replace one that CHOP has leased at 707 Alexander Road for nearly the last decade. At 25,000 square feet, CHOP’s one-story facility be significantly larger than its current location and has the potential to expand to 100,000 square feet.

“Currently, when we open in January, 2015, we’ll offer a few expanded services, including diagnostic x-ray, speech therapy for children and occupational therapy,” says Amy Lambert, Senior Vice President of the CHOP Care Network. “And we will enhance our other 14 or so subspecialties. Our hope is that this location will be successful and we will grow staff over time.”

CHOP physicians, neonatologists and pediatric hospitalists will rotate between CHOP and the Plainsboro campus and be available to patients at UMCPP 24/7, while providing an invaluable resource for children in crisis, according to Barry Rabner, CEO of Princeton HealthCare System.

Children may be transferred to CHOP in Philadelphia if they have a rare or unique syndrome or diagnosis or one that requires a multidisciplinary team, Lambert says.

UMCPP’s affi liation with CHOP began about five years ago when Rabner was meeting with the hospital’s approximately 50 pediatricians. “They felt they could do a better job servicing the kids in the region if we had an affi liation with a children’s hospital,” he says. “It was an idea I found very compelling.” When UMCPP sent out request for proposals to several children’s hospitals, CHOP quickly rose to the top of the pile. “The original intent was to enhance the quality of pediatric care that we were providing within the acute care hospital,” Rabner says. “CHOP came on board with their physicians and systems and in short order, materially improvised the quality of the care we were providing for our kids. It was a marriage made in heaven.”

Rabner recalls a case several years ago when a young girl arrived at the hospital’s Emergency Department with systems that were not immediately clear to staff doctors. “They called their CHOP colleagues and they were immediately talking with pediatric specialists and sharing electronic information. They determined that she was having a stroke, which is very rare for a young person. While they were discussing the case, they also sent a specially equipped ambulance to us. The team agreed on how to proceed, the patient was transferred downtown to CHOP and had a terrific outcome. It was a beautiful thing. We had all of the expertise necessary to take care of a potentially serious problem. Not only are the systems there, the technology for sharing the information is there.”

CHOP broke ground on the Plainsboro facility in late 2013. According to Rabner, “They can increase their building here to 100,000 square feet, they have the approvals in hand. My predictions, based on the positive reactions from the community to CHOP being here is that the only thing that’s going to keep them from going to 100,000 square feet is the ability to recruit the staff quickly enough.”

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