Press Releases

The new Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford now open

Over a decade in the making, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford opened its new Main building and grounds on December 9. The hospital received its license from the California Department of Public Health on December 4. Designed to transform the patient and family experience, the new 521,000-square-foot building more than doubles the size of the existing pediatric and obstetric hospital campus. The new building adds 149 patient beds for a total of 361 on the Palo Alto campus, enabling the hospital to serve more patients than ever before and allowing it to deploy awaited renovation plans for the existing hospital building.

Patient move day took place on a Saturday, when the weekly census is at its lowest. More than 90 pediatric patients were moved from the existing hospital (now called the West building) across to the new Main building and into new acute patient care units and pediatric and cardiovascular intensive care units. Sixteen move teams and 500 hospital employees ensured a smooth transition.

“Hundreds of staff prepared for months and months for this day, when this new building became part of our working hospital,” said Christopher G. Dawes, president and CEO of the hospital and Stanford Children’s Health.

To run the new building, the hospital hired more than 500 new staff members in positions ranging from nursing to food and housekeeping service roles.


Along with the patient care units, bridge corridors connecting the new Main building with the West building also opened on December 9, along with the Dunlevie Garden, the new Harvest Café, the Family Resource Center and the Story Corner.

The new Imaging Center features some of the most state-of-the-art technology in the hospital, including a PET/MRI that combines two important types of imaging technologies, PET (positron emission tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). This combined modality, the only PET/MRI exclusively dedicated to pediatric patients in Northern California, allows physicians to see how diseases are behaving in the body, monitor the effects of treatment and craft treatment plans to cater to the patient’s needs. This technology also shortens the time of study and significantly decreases the radiation dose delivered to the patient by close to 80 percent. The imaging center is part of a larger Treatment Center that encompasses surgery, radiology, imaging, interventional, catheterization labs and nuclear medicine. The surgical suites and neuro-interventional and catheterization labs are still under construction and are slated to open mid-year 2018.

Ongoing construction

According to Dawes, the patient move day marked a significant milestone, but it is one of many to come over the next several years as construction continues on parts of the Main building and awaited renovations kick off in the West building. The Surgery Center will have six new operating suites which will make a total of 13 in the hospital. In the neuro-hybrid surgery suite, care teams will have access to intraoperative MRI technology and angiography equipment that allows them to image a patient in the operating room during neurosurgery to ensure successful removal of a tumor before they close the surgical site. This technology improves efficiency and increases safety by reducing the time that children spend under anesthesia, and it also decreases the total amount of time the patient spends in the hospital, which translates to lower patient costs.

Within the West building, design plans are currently underway for renovating the existing Johnson Center for Pregnancy and Newborn Services to create the Bay Area’s premier mother and baby center, including a brand-new postpartum unit and a redesign of the neonatal intensive care units. By the end of 2018 all obstetric postpartum beds will be converted into private rooms. While expectant mothers and babies will not be moving into the new Main building, those patients and their families will still have access to the new building’s amenities, including the Harvest Café, gardens, Family Resource Center and Sanctuary.

The Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases, which includes an inpatient unit and an outpatient infusion center, will stay in the West building while its future home on the fifth floor of the Main building is under construction. A new space dedicated to the Betty Irene Moore Children’s Outpatient Heart Center is also under construction on the Main building’s first floor. Both new centers are slated for completion in 2019.

Anticipating LEED designation

An anticipated milestone that will be announced soon is the building’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Lead architect Robin Guenther, a principal with architectural firm Perkins + Will who worked in association with Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, Inc., estimates Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford will be one of the most sustainable children’s hospitals in the nation.

“Sustainability and environmental consciousness are seamlessly woven into the experience of the building — from energy and water use dashboards and salvaged local redwood to harmonious integration of outdoor nature experiences.”

Features include water-efficient landscaping and water collection systems that are expected to save 800,000 gallons of water annually. Innovative ventilation and shading systems will contribute to a 60 percent reduction in thermal energy usage compared to similar hospitals in the region. The project is targeting a LEED Gold designation.

“Reflecting Northern California’s commitment to environmental sustainability was an integral part in the new hospital’s design,” said Dawes.

Cutting the ribbon

On November 30, nearly 300 leaders from the hospital and Stanford University, elected officials, community partners, and members of the donor community gathered in the Main building’s lobby for an official ribbon-cutting ceremony. Dawes spoke at the ceremony, along with several key stakeholders, including Susan Packard Orr, vice chair of the hospital’s Board of Directors and daughter of the hospital’s founder, Lucile Packard; Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, PhD; and Dean of the School of Medicine Lloyd Minor, MD. Several patients’ families who have had storied experience with Packard Children’s were also present to see the new facility and help cut the ribbon, including the Watson family, whose daughter, Effy, now six years old, was treated at Packard Children’s for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the age of two.

“To say this place is extraordinary would be an understatement. The people that work inside these walls saved my daughter’s life and made us feel like part of their family,” Jennifer Watson said during her address at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “To the doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers, I am so happy that you have a new home in which to continue your amazing work of healing and saving lives.”