Peoria, IL,
16:45 PM

OSF Children's Hospital of Illinois Almost Home Kids Construction Underway

Facility will be just the third of its kind in the country

A blessing of the land and ceremonial groundbreaking took place November 15 for the OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois Almost Home Kids facility in Peoria. Site preparation on the 15-acre site has been underway since September.

Almost Home Kids is the first care model of its kind in the country. In a comforting home-like setting, children receive 24-hour medical and nursing support from skilled pediatric nurses. They provide transitional care for children with complex medical needs, such as children who are dependent on a ventilator to breathe or a feeding tube for nourishment, who are ready to be discharged from the hospital but for whom preparations at home need to be made, as well as training for their families. Respite care is also offered.

Kelly Nierstedt, President of OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois, says the support of the community has been vital to moving the project forward. She says it is the right thing to do for children.

Kelly Nierstedt-AHK relieve burden on families

We've been very blessed to have a collaboration with Almost Home Kids in the Chicagoland area but that's a burden for families have to travel that distance more and more our families are needing the care. They’re having to spend weeks, months, or over a year in the hospital that's not the right care. So having this here in our community having family able to stay close to home with their kids is ultimately going to be is just the greatest thing that we can hope for.

The OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois Almost Home Kids facility will be just the third of its kind in the nation, and the first purpose-built AHK ever. The Peoria AHK, with an estimated capital cost of $8.5 million, will be built entirely from private donations and will serve as a prototype for future AHK sites.

Debbie Grisko - Rest of the Country

We're speaking with a few other children's hospitals out of state at the moment so we're very excited. Everybody's watching this project and waiting for it to open and you know, again, we’re so looking forward to working with the team here at Children's Hospital of Illinois.

For Sister Judith Ann Duvall, Chairperson of the Board for OSF HealthCare, the Almost Home Kids project is a return to their roots for The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.

Sister Judith Ann-AHK

It's hearkening all the way back to our original tradition of caring for children in such a new creative and innovative way of bridging them from the intensive care setting to homelike setting to home and that's the greatest gift we can give these families and be able to teach them and provide the resources that they need to care for that child at home and to be a respite home. So for us it's just wonderful to be able to carry that tradition forward

The Almost Home Kids – Peoria home is expected to open in late summer of 2018.