Ochsner Baton Rouge is opening a new pediatric floor, billing it a “one-stop healthcare” center for children throughout the region.

After 10 months of construction, the clinic is set to open to patients on Nov. 11.

Ochsner spokeswoman Shelly Worthington said the unit is unusual because, unlike many other pediatric centers nationwide, families will be able to receive all their care on a single floor.

“Everything a child needs, from birth to adult, is all in one place,” Worthington said Thursday as a crew of hospital officials led reporters on a tour of the new facility.

The center will offer services that include general pediatrics, gastroenterology, neurology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, orthopedics, urology, cancer care, hepatology, ENT (ear, nose and throat), pulmonology, general surgery, child and adolescent psychiatry, allergy and dermatology.

Ochsner spokesman Chris Gautreau said the departments’ close proximity to one another is a key feature and should allow for more collaboration among doctors. 

With so many areas of expertise represented in one place, patients can be seen by multiple specialists without having to leave their initial exam room.

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“It’s important because a lot of times our children have needs that go beyond the scope of a general pediatrician,” Dr. Dionna Mathews said.

A patient coming in for a pediatric appointment, for example, can get a check-up from a GI specialist as well as a neurologist all on the same day, she added. 

“You don’t have to drive across town and get stuck in traffic,” she said.

The new unit represents a $6.8 million investment, including roughly $700,000 in pediatric medical equipment.

The facility includes 48 patient rooms in all, including a 3,318-square-foot child development center with space for physical, occupational, speech and feeding therapy.

Additional services include electrical brain scans, blood infusion, lung testing and breastfeeding support.

“I’ve been in pediatrics for 21 years,” unit head Dr. James Wayne said, “(and) this is by far the most extensive building I’ve ever worked in.”


EMAIL ELYSE CARMOSINO AT ECARMOSINO@THEADVOCATE.COM OR FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER, @ELYSECARMOSINO.