Tower’s construction set to start this monthPublished on Tuesday, December 5, 2017A colorful confetti-strewn groundbreaking ceremony Dec. 1 heralded the longed-for start of construction on the new children’s tower that will be home to 88 private neonatal intensive care unit rooms, more pediatric intensive care unit space, 10 additional operating rooms and a pediatric imaging unit.Construction will start later this month. The tower’s opening is planned for August 2020.The seven-story, 340,000-square-foot tower will be built adjacent to Batson Children’s Hospital. A pediatric outpatient clinic is also part of the plans. The Children’s Heart Center, representing the Medical Center’s pediatric cardiovascular program, will also call the new building home.Woodward“We have outstanding physicians and the best staff, and they have a passion for caring for patients,” said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “What we need now are the facilities to match that quality of care.”“The time has come,” she said, “for a transformation.”Children’s of Mississippi leaders anticipate recruiting 30-40 new physicians in the next five years as the facility is built and after it is opened, since it will provide additional capacity. At a minimum, about 50-75 staff positions, not including physicians, would be added after construction.Dr. Mary Taylor“I’m from Mississippi,” said Natchez native Dr. Mary Taylor, professor, Suzan B. Thames Chair of Pediatrics, and chair of the Department of Pediatrics, “and this hospital means more to me than you know. This new hospital tower will be transformational for the children of Mississippi.”“This is what the children of Mississippi need,” she said, “and what the children of Mississippi deserve.”Click here to read the full press release from the groundbreaking ceremony.