Our No. 1 priority for pediatric patients and families is their safety and well-being. In early 2017, we will open our new children’s hospital, specially designed with the needs of patients and families in mind. Some of the new and expanded services that will be available in our new hospital include:

  • A single location for all outpatient and inpatient pediatric cancer care in the University of Iowa Dance Marathon Pediatric Cancer Center on Level 11. Combining care into one area will help reduce stress for families since they will always go to the same place for care. It also will allow the care team to specialize in the unique needs of cancer patients. This level will include a lead-lined inpatient room and a lead-lined exam room for patients undergoing metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) therapy for neuroblastoma. The lead lining protects others from high levels of radiation that is used as part of the treatment process. Less than a dozen children’s hospitals in the country offer this option.
  • Preoperative/postoperative recovery rooms that will allow patients to receive care in the same room before and after surgery. This process will increase comfort, lessen anxiety, and reduce recovery times.
  • A Human Brain Research Laboratory that will be the first of its kind in any children’s hospital. The space will allow doctors to conduct neuroscience research and clinical trials.
  • Eight dedicated pediatric operating rooms.
  • Dedicated pediatric pharmacies to enhance safety and provide added convenience for families.
  • A combined imaging and procedure suite designed to enhance patient comfort and operational efficiency. Artwork on walls, in the flooring, and on the ceiling will provide distractions and help lower stress. Studies have shown that the right type of distraction can help reduce the need for sedation. By locating sedation on the same floor as procedures, efficiency will improve.
  • Sedated hearing tests that will be offered in a space specifically designed for pediatric patients.
  • Dental procedures for patients with complex medical conditions.

To ensure the best possible care for all patients, careful consideration was taken to ensure that care will be provided in the safest, most efficient way possible. In some cases, pediatric areas will remain where they are today to maximize access to highly-specialized medical teams and/or equipment that is used by pediatric and adult patients.
Services and programs that will not move into the new children’s hospital include:

Burn Treatment Center

This unit requires highly specialized care for a small number of patients. To ensure adults and pediatric patients are best cared for, the burn treatment center will not move.

Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD)

The CDD provides outpatient care, and the space necessary to adequately provide this care is not possible in the new children’s hospital.

Child and adolescent psychiatry

This area requires specialized spaces for therapy and a day school. It was not possible to accommodate all of these essential functions within the new hospital without compromising the components necessary to provide the safest and most efficient care, including keeping the behavioral health team, which cares for children and adults, in one physical space.


Routine dental procedures will continue to be provided in the College of Dentistry.

Emergency Department

To operate a successful emergency department requires the right space, expertise, and efficiency. Relocating or replicating trauma teams, ambulance bays, and helicopter access is not feasible within the new children’s hospital.

Food and Nutrition Services

The main kitchen in UI Hospitals & Clinics will prepare and provide food to the new children’s hospital.

Laboratory support

All labs will be supported by the main laboratory in UI Hospitals & Clinics, but connected by a pneumatic tube system.

Some Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) beds

49 NICU beds will remain connected to the Labor and Delivery Unit within UI Hospitals & Clinics to ensure that neonatal intensive care is steps away for the most critically ill and premature babies.

Nuclear medicine and radiation oncology

This very specialized care will remain within UI Hospitals & Clinics, but all other imaging procedures will be performed on Lower Level 2 of the new children’s hospital.

Pediatric catheterization laboratories

The new pediatric cath labs were completed in the summer of 2016 and are linked to the new children’s hospital by a short connector. All pre- and post-procedure care for patients receiving treatment in these spaces will happen in the new children’s hospital.

Pediatric Specialty Clinic (PSC)

The PSC cares for pediatric outpatients and is undergoing a complete renovation and expansion. The PSC entrance will be steps away from the new children’s hospital and linked by a short connector. Families will also be able to walk across the short bridge to get prescriptions filled at the pharmacy on Level 2 of our new hospital. The first half of the remodeled PSC will open in September 2017.

Primary care

Pediatric primary care will continue to be offered off-site at a number of locations for convenient access by families.

Some surgical specialties

In some cases, it’s essential that doctors who care for pediatric patients and doctors who care for adult patients work together to offer the best care. In other cases, a doctor with special expertise may be the best physician for both pediatric and adult patients. For this reason, some surgical specialties will remain in the existing hospital, including neurosurgery, ophthalmology, orthopedics, and otolaryngology.