Shriners to build new hospital at the Medical Center

The Shriners Hospital for Children will build a new hospital at the Washington University Medical Center.

The new hospital’s location, at 4440 Clayton Ave., will further enhance research opportunities and clinical care between Shriners Hospital for Children-St. Louis and the School of Medicine.

The new Shriners Hospital for Children will be built at 4440 Clayton Ave. between Taylor and Newstead avenues at the Washington University Medical Center.

“Washington University School of Medicine and Shriners Hospital have been good partners for decades,” said Larry J. Shapiro, M.D., executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “Being closer to this hospital is a wonderful opportunity to further strengthen our relationship.”

The new 147,000-square-foot hospital, between Taylor and Newstead avenues, will give patients better access to specialists at the medical school and to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Currently, 35 members of St. Louis Shriners Hospital medical staff, including the medical director, are WUSTL faculty physicians.

“The closer St. Louis Shriners Hospital is to the resources of not only the School of Medicine but also BJC facilities, the more effective we can be in providing care to our children and more fully collaborate in the research and education that is the hallmark of the medical center,” said John O’Shaughnessy, administrator of St. Louis Shriners Hospital.

The new hospital will have one floor dedicated to research. Most of the overlapping research interests between St. Louis Shriners Hospital and the medical school are related to bone, muscle and nerve development, and disease.

The School of Medicine sold 3.75 acres to Shriners for the facility. This relocation will allow St. Louis Shriners Hospital to return to the medical school campus. The Shriners’ first area hospital opened in 1924 on Euclid Avenue on the medical school campus.

Shriners expects the new hospital will have fewer rooms and more operating rooms than its current 80-room hospital, said James Full, executive vice president of Tampa, Fla.-based Shriners Hospitals for Children. “Patients are spending less time in the hospital, and more procedures can be done on an outpatient basis,” he said.

The current St. Louis Shriners Hospital is located at 2001 S. Lindbergh Blvd. O’Shaughnessy said that property will be sold once the new hospital is completed.

Construction of the new hospital is anticipated to begin in spring 2009, according to O’Shaughnessy.

Construction is expected to take three years. Architectural firm Gresham Smith & Partners will design the facility.

“This is truly a win-win opportunity for the Shriners Hospital for Children, Washington University School of Medicine and, more importantly, the children whom we treat,” Full said.