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Hoops Family Children's Hospital completes its first phase

By Geoffrey Foster
On June 18, 2014

For decades, Cabell Huntington Hospital has regularly upgraded and expanded its facilities to meet the growing demand of the medical community. The hospital’s latest endeavor, the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital, celebrated the first phase of the project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony June 17. The event celebrated the completion of the first eight rooms, located on the fifth floor of CHH.
Bunny Smith, the executive director of the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital, said Tuesday’s ceremony was a major step for the advancement of pediatric care in the region.
“There were so many times that, depending on the diagnosis of a pediatric patient, that we did not have the service available or a physician who specializes in that service here at Cabell,” Smith said.  “Many times, you have to leave the community to receive that care. I have had that experience with my own daughter. The dream of our CEO, Brent Marstellar, and many of us here, is to provide the majority of services for children here in Huntington. For a few years, we have been recruiting several physicians who specialize in different fields of pediatrics. We now have pediatric specialists in cardiology, neurology, oncology and many more. We also have a neonatal intensive care unit for premature births.”
Melanie Akers, the nurse manager for pediatrics and pediatric ICU, said the construction of a new pediatric wing is very important for the implementation of advanced pediatric care.
“The current pediatric unit is out-of-date, small and cramped,” Akers said. “It is not conducive to large families who wish to support the kids who stay here. So, we are really excited to be able to provide accommodations and potentially better services as we grow.”
Tours of the new facility were given throughout the day and were open to the public. The tours paused for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which featured several guest speakers including Cabell Huntington Hospital’s Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Fowler, Mayor Steve Williams, Congressman Nick Rahall and Chief Medical Officer for the Marshall University School of Medicine, Joseph Werthammer, MD.
The pediatric staff will begin moving the first eight patients into the new facility Monday. The next phase of the project is the construction of the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), which will take approximately seven months. The entire hospital is expected to be complete in 18 to 20 months.
Geoffrey Foster can be contacted at


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