- Mr. Tolin reported that a sign reading “100 Years of Service” would be installed on the walls of the Spoehrer Tower to commemorate the hospital’s 100-year anniversary. He also said that a 100-year anniversary celebration would be held in May with Bob Hope as the Master of Ceremonies.
- There was a special Executive Committee Meeting on July 9. Dr. Guze indicated that there would not be a problem with Children’s Hospital purchasing property that is now a parking lot and was formerly the site of St. John’s Hospital, on the corner of Audubon and Kingshighway.
- Mr. Tolin reported that the new Hospital and the Clinical Sciences Building would be joined by a connecting link with Barnes and Jewish Hospitals.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new hospital was held on November 10, with 200 people in attendance.
Mr. Perkins spoke briefly on the Daycare Center and said that there was a great need for it, especially for the nursing personnel.
- On April 14, 1984, the new St. Louis Children’s Hospital opens. The 12-story, 500,000-square-foot building offers amenities for patients’ families and more than twice as much space as the old facility. The old St. Louis Children’s Hospital, just a half block south of the new facility at 500 South Kingshighway, is eventually demolished in 2000 to accommodate the hospital’s new parking garage.
- Alvin Tolin, Children’s Hospital’s president and chief executive officer since 1970, becomes president emeritus until his retirement at mid year. Linn Perkins, executive director since 1970, is appointed president and chief executive officer in February.
Ronald Evens, MD, succeeds Linn Perkins as hospital president.
- Harvey Colten, MD, becomes the hospital’s fourth pediatrician-in-chief, succeeding Philip Dodge, MD, pediatrician-in-chief since 1967.
- Cardiothoracic surgeon Thomas Spray, MD, performs his first successful Norwood procedure, an advanced surgical technique used to correct the fatal congenital heart defect known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
- The hospital launches its first advertising campaign, featuring children who “come from far away” and children who are “glad we’re close by.”
St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine celebrate the 75thanniversary of their affiliation. As a teaching hospital, physicians share their vast experience as professors at Washington University.
Alan Brass is named the hospital’s president and chief executive officer, succeeding Ronald Evens, MD. During Dr. Evens’ tenure, the hospital made striking improvements in all financial indicators and advanced its prominence in child healthcare.
- Several clinical milestones occur:
- Doctors perform the region’s first cochlear implant, surgically implanting a device that helps children who are deaf to speak and comprehend language
- The ECMO (extra corporeal membrane oxygenation) unit treated its 100th patient. ECMO involves a special machine that takes over a critically ill patient’s function of breathing.
- A 33-day-old infant boy becomes the youngest Missourian to successfully undergo a heart transplant.
- A 19-month-old boy from Poland born with two heart chambers instead of four undergoes 3-D cardiac imaging and corrective surgery.
- The hospital becomes a full Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, which means it offers the highest level of emergency care available. In support of this role, the hospital is equipped with a rooftop helipad for emergency patient transports.
- The 454-KIDS Answer Line debuts and St. Louis Children’s Hospital Home Care is established.
- U.S. News & World Report names St. Louis Children’s Hospital as one of the top five children’s hospitals in the country. A poll of pediatric department chairmen ranks the hospital’s department of pediatrics among the top three in the nation.
- St. Louis Children’s Hospital establishes the first free-standing pediatric lung transplant program in the United States. It goes on to become the world’s most active pediatric lung transplant program. Later in the year, surgeons perform a double-lung transplant for a 12-year old patient, at the time the youngest child to successfully undergo the procedure.
- Lung implant and cochlear implant services are added to the hospital’s heart, liver and kidney transplant programs.
- The hospital establishes a Burn Center, the only dedicated pediatric burn program in St. Louis.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s new bone marrow transplant treats its first patient, a 7-year old boy with leukemia. The hospital’s bone marrow transplant program is the first in Missouri created exclusively for children.
- The Diagnostic Center is established. The center is an innovative outpatient resource developed to assist community pediatricians, family practitioners and the hospital’s medical staff in promptly evaluating patients with complex diagnoses.
- New cardiac catheterization equipment enables the hospital to offer the only pediatric cardiology intervention program in an eight-state area.
- The hospital’s new Edison Center Atrium Cafeteria fulfills the need for increased food preparation and dining space.
- Child magazine names St. Louis Children’s Hospital one of the 10 best pediatric hospitals in the country.
- Blue Cross/Blue Shield designates the hospital as a national pediatric organ transplant center.
- St. Louis Children’s Hospital achieves 50 procedures each in its heart transplant and lung transplant programs and cochlear implant program.
- The St. Louis Children’s Hospital Health Center opens in a St. Louis suburb, Chesterfield, Mo. The center provides pediatric subspecialty consultations and therapy services formerly available only at the hospital. The center also offers after-hours urgent care.
- To reduce the cost of providing services while expanding access to patients, St. Louis Children’s Hospital joins what is now known as BJC HealthCare. BJC, one of the largest nonprofit healthcare organizations in the United States, delivers services to residents primarily in the greater St. Louis , southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions.
- Surgeons at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Barnes-Jewish Hospital perform the region’s first living-donor lung transplant, in which a lobe of two live donors’ lungs is transplanted into the recipient. Performed rarely and only by highly skilled and experienced teams, living-donor lung transplant offers a last option for some patients who cannot survive long enough to obtain cadaveric organs.
- Ted W. Frey, a 25-year veteran of Children’s Hospital, succeeds Alan Brass as president and senior executive officer. Frey would be instrumental in overseeing continued hospital expansion and renovation. Alan Schwartz, MD, PhD, succeeds Harvey Colten, MD, as pediatrician-in-chief.
- The hospital announces a $21.5 million expansion plan, the first major facility expansion since 1984. Major components of the plan include renovation of the hospital’s emergency unit, development of a comprehensive inpatient/outpatient cancer unit and expansion of same-day surgery.
- Children’s Hospital performs St. Louis’ first split-liver transplant and Missouri’s first small intestine transplant.
- St. Louis Children’s Hospital is recognized as one of the best pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and is ranked as one of the top U.S. pediatric hospitals for the second time by Child magazine.
- With 24 heart transplants performed in 1996—and 114 since 1986—the hospital ranks third in the nation among pediatric institutions that perform the procedure.
- Doctors perform the hospital’s 100th heart transplant and 100th lung transplant.
- The American Burn Association recognizes St. Louis Children’s Hospital as a Burn Center, making it the only pediatric hospital in eastern Missouri and southern Illinois to hold such a designation.
- U.S. News & World Report again recognizes Children’s Hospital as being among the nation’s top pediatric hospitals.
- A 14-year-old cystic fibrosis patient undergoes a rare double-organ transplant, receiving a new set of lungs and a new liver.
- The hospital’s otolaryngology team performs its 100th cochlear implant, a surgical procedure that helps children who are deaf to speak and comprehend language
- T.S. Park, MD, neurosurgeon-in-chief, performs his 500th selective dorsal rhizotomy procedure, a surgery that improves movement in children with cerebral palsy.
- The hospital celebrates the opening of its new Dana W. Brown Emergency Unit and receives approval for a $13 million expansion and renovation of its pediatric intensive care unit.
- U.S. News & World Report again names Children’s Hospital among the country’s top pediatric hospitals.
- The hospital performs more solid organ transplants than any other pediatric hospital in the nation according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.
- The hospital has a year of record patient volumes, achieving the highest levels of admissions, ambulatory visits and intensive care unit census ever.
- Facilities that open during the year include the new Hale Irwin Center for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, the rooftop Olson Family Garden and the Family Resource Center consumer health library.
- Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine dedicate the new McDonnell Pediatric Research Building, which consolidates and reorganizes research areas formerly located in five separate sites throughout the medical center.
- Healthy Kids Express, the hospital’s mobile health van outreach program, is launched.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital opens its new Diagnostic and Interventional Catheterization Laboratory. The hospital opens its new visitor parking garage, skywalk and lobby.
- Lee F. Fetter, a 19-year veteran of Washington University School of Medicine, succeeds Ted Frey as hospital president.
- Several hospital outreach initiatives debut to improve the health of children in the community, particularly those living in at-risk areas. For example, the “Safety Street” program teaches children about pedestrian, bicycle and passenger safety. The “Healthy Kids at Play” initiative gives children safe play spaces, access to healthcare and education about healthy behaviors.
- The hospital performs its 200th cochlear implant, a procedure that helps children who are deaf to speak and comprehend language.
- St. Louis Children’s Hospital is ranked among the nation’s top children’s hospitals by Child magazine and US News & World Report.
- The hospital announces a $75 million expansion and renovation project to add seven floors on the east side of the existing 12-story hospital. It will enable the hospital to significantly increase the number of private patient rooms.
- T. S. Park, MD, neurosurgeon-in-chief, performs his 1,000th selective dorsal rhizotomy procedure, a surgery that improves movement in children with cerebral palsy.
- The hospital breaks its monthly record for transplants, with 16 in May alone.
- The Children’s Discovery Institute launched a unique research joint venture with Washington University School of Medicine supported by a major endowment campaign. The Institute will focus on four initial targeted diseases that affect huge numbers of children: congenital (since birth) heart problems, lung and respiratory disorders, musculoskeletal diseases, and cancer.
- St. Louis Children’s Hospital — the first children’s hospital west of the Mississippi River and the seventh oldest in the country — celebrates its 125th anniversary.
- The hospital breaks ground on its $80 million, seven-story building expansion project, which includes a 95,000-square-foot addition to the east side of the existing 550,000-square-foot structure. In addition, 120,000 square feet of the hospital’s interior are to be renovated, increasing patient beds increasing from 235 to 250. The hospital remains in full operation during construction.
- A patient less than 4 months old is the first at St. Louis Children's Hospital to receive a heart transplant from a donor with a different blood type. The rare procedure is referred to as an ABO-incompatible heart transplant.
- An adapted adult pacemaker is implanted into a patient younger than four months of age, making her the youngest in the world to receive a pacemaker for resynchronization therapy.
- St. Louis Children's Hospital is the only pediatric hospital in Missouri to make the list of US News & World Report’s top pediatric hospitals.