FAQs

Learn more about the new Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital building project and get answers to frequently asked questions here.

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Project Overview

Why does Mary Bridge Children’s need a new hospital?

The first Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital opened in 1955, in what is now the east wing of Mary Bridge Children’s Outpatient Center. In 1987, the need for more space drove the hospital to move inpatient services into Tacoma General Hospital.

This shared space is not optimized to meet the needs of children and families and sharing services across the two hospitals has presented increasing challenges. A standalone children’s hospital building gives us the opportunity to cater care to the unique needs of children in a space that is designed just for them.

How will this new hospital benefit the entire Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Network?

The new children’s hospital building will support the growth of our pediatric primary care network and provide increased access to specialty care centers throughout our services areas, ensuring that children have care close to home. Additionally, strengthening the performance of the hospital and network helps sustain important programs and services not covered by insurance across the network.

What are the advantages of having a standalone hospital?

Giving Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital its own space allows us to deliver services to our pediatric patients that are fully designed for them.

Separate and dedicated access to our Pediatric Emergency Department will provide a better experience for families who need emergency care for their child. The new hospital will also allow us to be a destination surgical center of excellence, serving patients from the tiniest neonates through adolescents.

The new hospital building will be designed and built to be one of the most efficient and safest children’s hospitals in the nation.

Why is the hospital building being built now?

Today, nearly 500,000 children live in the South Sound and the population is expected to increase by 25,000 by 2023. A standalone hospital building not only provides opportunities for closer collaboration and coordination between care teams, but also improves access to specialty care services for patients and their families.

What will the new hospital feature?

The new Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital building will feature architecture and design elements that nod to our Pacific Northwest roots and home in Tacoma. The new hospital building will include:

  • 64 private pediatric Medical-Surgical Unit patient rooms
  • 18 private Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) patient rooms
  • 34 pediatric Emergency Department (ED) treatment rooms
  • Eight (8) pediatric behavioral health crisis rooms
  • Eight (8) pediatric operating rooms
  • Two (2) endoscopy rooms with sedation services
  • Hybrid catheterization (cath), electrophysiology (EP) and radiology suite
  • Pediatric diagnostic imaging center with sedation services, including MRI, X-ray, CT, PET and ultrasound
  • Infusion and hematology/oncology clinic
  • Cardiology services, including exam rooms, echocardiogram, ECG, stress and PFT capabilities
  • Helipad for airlift transport needs, in partnership with Airlift Northwest
  • Retail pharmacy services
  • Shelled space for future expansion needs

How is the project being funded?

There are three sources of funds to support the financial obligations of this project: 1) a bond that has been secured and will provide the bulk of the financing, 2) philanthropic donations and 3) cash reserves cover the remaining balance of funds.

Will you expand Tree House to accommodate more families and patients?

Our Tacoma campus improvement plans include Tree House. More details will be shared as they are developed.

Mary Bridge Children's Legacy

Can I get a brick from Jackson Hall to commemorate the School of Nursing?

We are looking into this possibility. It must be determined whether there are any potentially harmful substances associated with the bricks or with any of the applied treatments

What will happen to the Mary Bridge Rose Garden?

The removal of the Rose Garden is required to construct the new hospital building. There is a plan to relocate several of the rare and highly prized roses for safe keeping at a nursery facility, and these will be replanted in the new Rose Garden planned for the new hospital.

What will happen to the fountain currently at Mary Bridge Children’s?

The existing fountain will be removed. The statue in the fountain will be preserved and restored and will become the center piece of the new Rose Garden at the new hospital building. A new fountain is not part of the design for the grounds at the new hospital building.

Timeline

When will construction start?

Preliminary work on the project is underway, but construction on the new hospital building is scheduled to begin in early 2022.

When will the hospital open?

We anticipate opening for care by the end of 2024.

Location

Where will the hospital be built?

The new Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital building will be located on the corner of Division Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, across the street from its current location. The hospital will connect to our Outpatient Center, providing convenience and easy access for patients, families and providers.

What’s happening to Jackson Hall and the east wing of the Outpatient Center?

Jackson Hall does not meet code for hospital occupancy and cannot be zoned for a modern hospital facility due to structural, fire, mechanical and seismic requirements. The building was not incorporated into the new hospital’s design and will be demolished. It is MultiCare’s intent to honor the legacy and history of Jackson Hall, which originally housed Tacoma General School of Nursing until 1975, within the construction of the new Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.

The east wing of the Outpatient Center will also be demolished. Existing clinics and services in both buildings are being relocated.

What will happen to the old Mary Bridge Children’s space?

We anticipate that the space will be backfilled by Tacoma General Hospital’s services. Final decisions have not been made yet.

Will Adolescent Behavioral Health move to the new hospital?

No. Tacoma General’s Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit will remain part of Tacoma General Hospital.

Will Tacoma General and Mary Bridge Children’s continue to share any facilities or services after the new hospital is built?

When the new hospital is complete, Tacoma General and Mary Bridge Children’s will not share any physical space. Mary Bridge will continue to receive excellent lab processing from MultiCare’s core lab on the Tacoma General campus, and we will continue to share some food preparation in the central kitchen within Tacoma General. Other services, including pharmacy and diagnostic imaging will be standalone services in the new Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital building.

Patient Impacts

Where will patients go for their appointments while the building project is taking place?

Patients with appointments in the west wing of the Mary Bridge Children’s Outpatient Center will continue care/treatment at this facility. There will be an alternate/temporary entry location and drop off that will last until 2024 when the new hospital opens. Patients attending appointments associated with clinics in the east wing of the outpatient center will continue their care at a variety of temporary locations during the construction project. These temporary locations have not yet been finalized. These will be announced when the relocation plan is complete.

When will patients know if their clinic is affected by demolition and construction? When will parents know if their child's appointment(s) are postponed?

Teams are working on completing the temporary relocation plan for clinics. Some clinics may remain on campus while others may have all or portions of their appointments at other locations throughout the South Sound Region. We will provide information as it becomes available.

Staff Impacts

Will this create more jobs at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital?

Yes. We anticipate needing to hire additional staff, particularly in areas that are currently shared with Tacoma General, including nutrition services, pharmacy, laboratory services and diagnostic imaging. New positions will be posted on the MultiCare Careers site as they become available.

Will current Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital employees have to apply to work at the new hospital?

We anticipate that all Mary Bridge Children’s employees in good standing at the time, and who work on a floor or for a department that is moving to the new building, will simply relocate when the hospital opens.

Will there be more parking designated for staff at the new building?

Yes. A new staff parking garage will be constructed on L Street between 5th & 6th streets. This garage will have approximately 600 spaces and will be designated as staff-only to serve Mary Bridge Children’s and Tacoma General. The existing J Street, Baker Center and P2 garages will remain, as well as many of the existing surface parking areas.

Parking

Will there be more parking designated for patients at the new building?

Yes. A new parking garage for patients and visitors will be built and will connect to the new hospital building. This garage will have approximately 475 spaces. There may be some allocation of spaces to accommodate provider and staff parking as well.

How will current staff and patient parking be affected by demolition and construction?

Parking will be impacted during the construction project, but we are doing everything we can to minimize inconvenience to patients. The Jackson Hall Garage will be demolished in the spring of 2022. The current A Lot will be taken out of service in 2022 to build the new visitor garage. Changes will be made to some of the current parking facilities as patient, staff and provider needs are accounted for over the course of the project.