News Archive

New Pediatric Intensive Care Unit to expand access to critical care services for children

Friday, November 9, 2012

DES MOINES, Iowa— With our sights set on the future of pediatric medicine in Iowa, Mercy is pleased to debut our renovated state-of-the-art Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The opening of the PICU brings to a close the complete renovation of facilities dedicated to inpatient care of pediatric patients.

Seriously injured or ill children will benefit directly from the new PICU, which can expand to 18 private critical care rooms. The new PICU and Mercy’s pediatric intensivists are crucial in the delivery of specialty care and treatment of traumatic injuries and serious illnesses. Trauma care starts with Mercy Children’s Hospital & Clinics’ 24/7 pediatric emergency center. Pediatric emergency physicians admitted more than 16,800 patients in 2011. Additionally, nearly 8,000 children were admitted to Mercy for inpatient care last year.

Just as important as the PICU’s medical technology is having comfortable amenities and cheerful surroundings, created especially for children and families. Large rooms featuring natural light and soothing colors and images promote a warm healing environment. Families with children in the new PICU also have access to Iowa’s only Ronald McDonald Family Room. The Family Room serves parents needing extended stays with their children.

“We are extremely proud of the growth of our children’s facilities, specialty services and clinics at Mercy,” says Mercy Senior Vice President of Hospital Operations Jackie Frost-Kunnen. “Mercy has assembled a team of talented physicians and allied health professionals who provide world class care, from the smallest infant in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to adolescents. In some cases this care is exclusive to Mercy.”

Pediatric neurosurgery is provided by central Iowa’s only fellowship-trained pediatric neurosurgeon. Surgeries at central Iowa’s only pediatric heart surgery program are performed by Iowa’s only surgeon who is board-certified in pediatric congenital cardiac surgery. Children in need of complex craniofacial surgeries can receive care locally at Iowa’s only pediatric craniofacial program instead of traveling long distances.

Mercy has cared for children for 120 years. With expansion of our services and facilities it is fitting to announce a new name that captures the full array of Mercy pediatric inpatient, specialty, behavioral and outpatient clinical offerings in metro Des Moines.  Effective Nov. 12, our pediatric services will be known as Mercy Children’s Hospital & Clinics. The new name communicates a comprehensive care option for physicians and families when making health care decisions for children.

We believe central Iowans will find comfort in knowing some of the best care available is right here—at Mercy Children’s Hospital & Clinics.

About Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines

Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines is an 802-bed acute care, not-for-profit Catholic hospital situated on three campuses. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1893, Mercy is the longest continually operating hospital in Des Moines and one of the largest employers in the state, with nearly 6,900 employees and a medical staff of more than 800 physicians and 200 allied health professionals. Mercy is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Englewood, Colo. For more information, visit www.mercydesmoines.org.


Gregg Lagan
Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines 
(515) 247-3050
cell (515) 490-6636

(515) 247-3121
1111 6th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50314

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