Rady Children's Hospital

7-story tower housing new emergency dept. part of Rady Children's Hospital's largest expansion ever

The billion-dollar expansion project — the largest in the hospital's 70-year history — is expected to be completed in 2027

NBC Universal, Inc.

Rady Children’s Hospital and San Diego leaders broke ground on a $1 billion expansion of the hospital.

An older building along Frost Street will be torn down and a seven-story tower will be built adjacent to the current hospital. The tower will introduce new intensive care units, advanced pediatrics, new operating rooms and a larger emergency department.

The emergency department is currently bursting at the seams.

“We were set to see 25,000 patients [a year],” explained nurse Lori Ninberg who was working in the department when it opened in 1993.

Now the emergency department can barely handle the number of children who need attention.

“Close to 100,000 annually,” shrugged Ninberg.

“We actually spilled over into the waiting room, into the gift shop,” said Rady Children’s CEO Patrick Frias, MD. “So, we really need this space in order to meet the needs of the community.”

Dr. Frias emceed a Tuesday groundbreaking ceremony that included San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and Earnest Rady. Rady and his wife, Evelyn, donated $200 million in 2019 to spearhead the expansion.

“Ecstatic. Can’t wait. I wish it was tomorrow,” smiled Ninberg.

This will be the largest expansion in the hospital’s 70-year history. It’s expected to be completed at the end of 2027.

“It’s going to be a game-changer,” concluded Ninberg. “It completely matters.”

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