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Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital - A Profile

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Helen DeVos Childrens Hospital is a Grand Rapids-based hospital serving children throughout Michigan. A teaching hospital, it includes more than 150 pediatric specialty physicians with specialized training in providing medical and surgical care to children in more than 40 pediatric specialties. The physicians and staff care for 7,600 children on an inpatient basis and 190,000 children at outpatient sites annually. The staff at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is committed to caring for children and families with compassion, excellence and innovation. The children’s hospital is one of seven hospitals in the Spectrum Health system.


The need for specialized pediatric are close to come became apparent in the 1980s. The first pediatric intensive care unit opened in 1988 under the direction of Dominic Sanfilippo, MD at then Butterworth Hospital. In 1989, James Fahner, MD, the region's first pediatric hematologist/oncologist, began a children's cancer program. In 1990, Robert Connors, MD, established the first dedicated pediatric surgery program.

As the number of children's specialists in the Grand Rapids area grew, so did the vision for building a children's hospital in West Michigan. With the help of local philanthropists and the community at large, that became a reality in 1993 with the opening of DeVos Children's Hospital at Butterworth Hospital.

In 1997, Butterworth and Blodgett hospitals merged to create Spectrum Health. The merger also brought together their respective neonatal units. The combined program created the tenth-largest neonatal center in the country, spurring continued growth of new programs and attracting pediatric specialists from around the country.

Today, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital has the region's broadest range of services, staff members and programs dedicated to children's health.


In 2006, construction began for the new Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. With more than $103 million contributed by the community, this state-of-the-art hospital and teaching facility will open in early 2011. The new Helen DeVos Children's Hospital will be a 206 bed, 440,000 square foot, 14 floor facility that will transform health care for kids in Michigan. The region's infants, children and adolescents will benefit from improved access to specialized care in a facility devoted just to pediatrics.

What is a children’s hospital? Here's a Video

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