What patients, visitors need to know about the Penn State Children’s Hospital expansion

HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — Work has already begun for the Penn State Children’s Hospital expansion.

“They’ll start to see cranes being hung up in the June timeframe,” said Gil Pak, the pediatrics operations director.

In the next couple of months, patients will notice fencing, since workers will be adding three new floors to the top of the hospital.

Pak says visitors should be on the lookout for traffic and entryway changes.

“We’re changing the location of discharging of patients to try to move the activity away from the front of this hospital,” said Pak.

Staff is currently transitioning out of the building’s top floor to get ready for construction.

Hospital officials say the biggest goal for the expansion is to cut wait times and to give care to more children in the Midstate.

“We currently are at capacity for our children’s services many days of each month,” said Pak.

The $148 million project will add pediatric beds.

Labor and Delivery is being moved closer to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, for easier access, and to create more room in the main hospital building for adults.

“We have a great demand for those services as well, and so that will give us capacity to renovate those spaces into adult patient beds, in a timeframe that’s much quicker than building another structure,” said Pak.

Pak says extra staff will be hired too.

The transition is happening at the same time that Penn State Hershey is expanding its Emergency Department.

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