Topping out ceremony marks milestone for The Woodlands campus

August 18, 2015

Flanked by a group of former Texas Children’s Hospital patients and hundreds of supporters, Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark A. Wallace looked on as a 7-foot-tall Mexican White Oak tree was hoisted to the top of what will soon be Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.

“Go, go, go!” Wallace and the children cheered until the tree with was in place. “We did it!”

The tree hoisting was the highlight of an August 14 tree topping ceremony at the site of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. The milestone event marked the halfway point in the construction of the hospital, which will open its doors in 2017.

Adorned with promises made by Texas Children’s employees to The Woodlands community, the tree will remain atop the unfinished hospital for a week before being planted on facility grounds.

“All of you who are here today are here because you share our commitment, our promise, to provide the very best care when and where our families need it most,” Wallace said. “That is why we are topping out The Woodlands campus with this very special tree.”

Following the tree-topping ceremony, guests took shelter from the almost three-digit temperatures under a cooling tent, sipped lemonade and nibbled ice cream and popcorn. Some event goers got a tour of the construction site. The tours were led by Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands team members and crew from Tellespen Builders, the company that is leading the construction project.

“You coming out today means you join in our excitement about a project that will bring children the best pediatric hospital right to their community,” Tellespen CEO Howard Tellespen Jr. told the crowd. “You have helped fulfill our legacy of being part of something bigger than ourselves.”

Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands President Michelle Riley-Brown and Chief Medical Director Dr. Charles Hankins shared their excitement about what’s to come for the hospital and The Woodlands community during a BBQ lunch at tables set up on what will be the first floor of the hospital.

“At Texas Children’s, we are not only committed to meeting the needs of patients and families we serve, but we are committed to doing that in a way that works for them,” Riley-Brown said. “For so many, this means providing care close to home; that’s exactly why we are building Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.”

The hospital will serve children and families in the Woodlands, Kingwood, Conroe, Spring, Magnolia, Humble, Huntsville and beyond, and will build on a decade’s worth of relationships Texas Children’s has built in the community through our primary and sub-specialty care at Texas Children’s Pediatrics locations and the Texas Children’s Health Center The Woodlands.

The hospital will complete that picture, offering services in more than 20 areas of specialty care at a facility with 32 acute care beds, four operating rooms, 10 radiology rooms with 2 MRI’s, an emergency center with 22 patient rooms, a helipad, 1,000 free parking spaces and, by the end of 2017, an intensive care unit with 12 beds. Opening in 2016, the hospital also will include an outpatient facility with 74 exam rooms, 23 subspecialty clinics and a Texas Children’s Pediatrics Primary Care Clinic.

Hankins said he and The Woodlands team already have hired several top-notch physicians in hematology-oncology, endocrinology, neurology, otolaryngology and sports medicine, and that they are continuing to recruit the best and the brightest from across the world to serve patients at The Woodlands campus.

“As a resident of The Woodlands, you will have your very own community hospital right here in your own backyard,” he said. “Patients at The Woodlands campus will receive the same high quality care as those at Main Campus without having to drive more than 30 miles.”