American Family Children's Hospital Expansion Planned

American Family Children's HospitalPlans have been announced to expand the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison to meet growing patient and family demand, especially to serve the very sickest, most vulnerable babies and children.


“Meeting these greater needs is a natural outgrowth of the care that American Family Children’s has been providing for patients and families,” says UW Hospital and Clinics President and CEO Donna Katen-Bahensky, “and now the time has come to do more.”


Four key components make up the expansion plans, which are scheduled for completion by early 2014:

  • 26 new acute-care beds: 14 beds will comprise a Surgical/High-Acuity Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), making it possible for the very sickest infants to have a new chance at life; 12 beds will constitute an expansion of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The Surgical NICU will complement, not duplicate, existing NICUs at birthing hospitals throughout the region.
  • A Pediatric Hybrid Cardiac Catheterization/Operating Room/Interventional Radiology Laboratory: To ensure that children needing invasive heart and radiological procedures now performed in adult facilities at UW Hospital will instead have them performed exclusively in the Children’s Hospital in a unit specially designed and dedicated to pediatric care.
  • A Pediatric Imaging Suite: Children - and only children - will receive X-ray/imaging procedures with state-of-the-art, low-dose radiation technology. This will be a full-service imaging suite for children requiring MRI, CT, ultrasound and fluoroscopy services.
  • Two more pediatric operating rooms, including purchase of necessary surgical equipment: Pediatric surgery volume has increased by 35 percent since 2007 and is projected to keep growing rapidly.

If approved by municipal officials, American Family Children’s Hospital will build two additional floors that will accommodate this expansion and still leave unfinished space for more beds as demand grows throughout the coming decade.


Funding for the project will come from a $28.6 million commitment from UW Hospital and Clinics and a private, $16.4 million fundraising campaign known as Sick Kids Can’t Wait.


Wisconsin Badger Coaches Bret Bielema, Bo Ryan, Mike Eaves and Mark Johnson – as well as Supermodel Cindy Crawford – have all kindly donated their time and energy to make this a successful campaign. A longtime supporter of American Family Children’s Hospital, Cindy lost her little brother, Jeffrey, at age 3 to leukemia after he was treated at the UW in the 1970s.


“At the still tender age of 4½, American Family Children’s Hospital has clearly exceeded our greatest expectations,” says Katen- Bahensky. “Now the time has come to raise the bar even higher to ensure that we have space for every baby and child who needs us.”


In concert with the expansion announcement, American Family Children’s Hospital has a brand new, redesigned website which can be viewed at There, one can learn more about the expansion plans and the related Sick Kids Can’t Wait campaign.