Pallone: Senate Approves $175,000 for Expansion of Childrens Hospital in New Brunswick

Jan 23, 2004

Washington, D.C. --- The U.S. Senate yesterday approved a giant Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 omnibus bill that included $175,000 U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) requested for the expansion of the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospitals Bristol-Myers Squibb Childrens Hospital (BMSCH) in New Brunswick. The New Jersey congressman requested the funds last year when the appropriations process began.

The BMSCH is New Jerseys only free standing, state-designated, acute care childrens hospital. The hospital is a 70-bed, 147,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, which serves the healthcare needs of children in New Jersey and surrounding states and is uniquely qualified to handle the most life-threatening illnesses or injuries. Pallone said the hospital serves as the flagship pediatric hospital for an array of childrens services that are unique for New Jersey and that allow children to receive advanced care and therapies in state. Previously, New Jerseys families had to travel to New York City or Philadelphia to receive these services.

Pallone said the BMSCH plans to expand vertically by two floors and 56,500 square feet. The new floors will facilitate the integration of maternal and child services, allow the hospital to consolidate existing pediatric services currently not located in the hospital, and offer new programs such as pediatric neurosurgery and transplant programs. Additionally, one floor will be dedicated to the treatment of childhood diseases and the expansion will also allow for the growth of relatively new services, such as pediatric neurosurgery.

"As the healthcare needs of New Jerseys children continue to grow, its critical that the states only childrens hospital expand to address those needs," Pallone said. "The funds approved in the Senate today are a down payment and a commitment from the federal government that this expansion will occur."

The New Jersey congressman today vowed to secure more federal funding this year to help insure this expansion takes place as quickly as possible.

The funds were included in the $328.1 billion spending bill that combined seven appropriations bills into one omnibus bill funding domestic programs and foreign operations for FY 2004, which officially began on October 1, 2003. The Senates action yesterday came one month after the U.S. House of Representatives approved the same spending bill. The bill now awaits the president s signature.