Children’s Minnesota invests in the future

Children’s Minnesota is prepared to serve all of the highly specialized health care needs of children in our community. As one Children’s Minnesota care system, our two hospital campuses, located just 10 miles apart, are uniquely poised to serve both the east and west metro from either location. Regardless of where patients present, every Children’s Minnesota patient will continue to have access to our full range of specialty services that the community has relied on for nearly 100 years.

To meet the needs of our community – and to live out our vision to be every family’s essential partner in raising healthier kids – Children’s Minnesota is investing in services across our system.

Mental Health expansion

Many Minnesota children and teens in a mental health crisis end up spending days in emergency rooms, waiting for a psychiatric bed to open up. The pandemic has exacerbated the crisis. Furthermore, many facilities are unable to care for children with other pre-existing conditions or health concerns. Children’s Minnesota has seen more than a 30% increase in kids presenting at emergency departments in mental health crisis.

We are responding to this crisis by investing in our continuum of mental health care. An exclusively pediatric inpatient mental health center is expected to begin serving patients at our St. Paul hospital campus in the latter half of 2022.

This is a continuation of strategic efforts to expand mental health services, including:

  • Children’s Minnesota opened a mental health partial hospitalization program for teens at its specialty center at Lakeville in the summer of 2021. The outpatient program allows teens to receive intensive mental health care during the day and return home with their families on evenings and weekends.
    • In 2022, a second partial hospitalization program will also open.
  • Children’s Minnesota has also integrated behavioral health across its primary care clinics and expanded virtual mental health care – a convenient option for some patients and families

Aligning specialized experts

We know that specialty services often work hand-in-hand as families navigate between both of our hospital campuses. This is particularly challenging for families with children who have medically complex needs. Aligning specialized experts under one roof will streamline our services and improve the care and experience we are able to provide. To better meet our patients’ needs today and in the future, some services will be expanded in Minneapolis, co-located with the Children’s Minnesota Level I trauma center, to best serve our most critically ill patients:

  • Children’s Minnesota is investing in the latest intraoperative MRI (iMRI) technology. The new iMRI suite will provide Children’s Minnesota patients with the latest generation 3T MRI technology. The new suite will include a diagnostic room, ante room and two supported operating rooms with a unique configuration that includes both moving-scanner and moving-patient workflows. The configuration will be the first of its kind in the country, allowing safe imaging of patients during intracranial and upper spine neurosurgical procedures by bringing the MRI scanner to the patient in a specialized operating room.
  • PICU staff and resources will be expanded and integrated onto the Minneapolis campus in 2023. We are committed to ensuring the seamless and timely transition of care for patients who need critical care services at our St. Paul campus.
  • Neurosurgery will transition to primarily operating out of the Minneapolis campus, while maintaining clinic presence on the St. Paul campus.

Response to the critically ill patient in St. Paul

Our staff on both campuses continue to be specialized pediatric experts, dedicated to providing the highest-quality care to the patients we serve. Our experts at the St. Paul campus will continue to triage and respond to critically ill patients. We will enhance our interfacility transport to ensure we are able to get patients to the right location for their care, and continue to provide access to our full range of services to all of our patients.

The St. Paul campus will continue to serve the community as a pediatric hospital, offering emergency care up to its Level IV trauma designation, medical/surgical and outpatient services, surgical services and Level III NICU expertise.

Children’s Minnesota pediatric sub-specialties will continue providing bedside care at St. Paul, including neurology, ENT, cardiology, general surgery, neurosurgery, and more.

Children’s Minnesota Physician Access

As Children’s Minnesota continues to invest in the future of our health care organization, Children’s Minnesota Physician Access can help assist with any questions regarding your referrals. Call 866-755-2121 for 24/7 referral, admission and neonatal transport assistance.

Dina Elrashidy