University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
November 17, 2010
Contact: Bob Lowry, USA Children's & Women's Hospital, (251) 415-1358

USA Children's & Women's Hospital Breaks Ground On Expansion, Announces Fundraising Campaign


The University of South Alabama on Nov. 17 broke ground on a major expansion of USA Children's and Women's Hospital. The $72.6 million expansion will add more than 195,000 square feet to the existing hospital, almost doubling its size and allowing a higher level of care for patients and their families. Shown at the groundbreaking, left to right, are Dr. Joseph Busta, USA vice president for development and alumni relations; Candis Busby and her son, Ty, who was treated in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit as a newborn; USA trustee Cecil Gardner; USA trustee Arlene Mitchell; Mobile County Commissioner Mike Dean; USA trustee and Mobile Mayor Sam Jones; Jim Yance, chair of the USA Board of Trustees; USA President Gordon Moulton; Maxey Roberts, managing director of the USA Foundation; Dr. Sam Strada, dean of the USA College of Medicine; Dr. Loran Clement, chair of the USA department of pediatrics; Dr. Stephen Varner, interim chair of the USA department of obstetrics and gynecology; Dr. Becky DeVillier, administrator of USA Children's and Women's Hospital; Dr. John Smith, USA vice president for student affairs; and Stan Hammack, USA vice president for health systems. (Click here for a larger version of photo)

MOBILE - The University of South Alabama Children's & Women's Hospital broke ground today on a 195,000 square-foot expansion that will nearly double the hospital's size, while also announcing a major fundraising campaign to enhance the programs and services of the hospital.

The $72.6 million expansion, funded by the USA Health System and the USA Foundation, will feature more space for the hospital's neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, additional operating rooms, and larger patient rooms to better accommodate visitors and families. Vital support services such as an enlarged cafeteria and kitchen, professional teaching and community education space are also included in the five-level expansion.

"USA Children's & Women's Hospital reaches far beyond Mobile, touching lives all along the upper Gulf coast and upward toward central Alabama," said USA President Gordon Moulton. "This expansion will enable the hospital to provide an even higher level of care to our patients, as well as a more comfortable and supportive environment for patients and their families."

"We pride ourselves on family centered care, and this expansion will be a wonderful gift for our patients and their families," Dr. Becky DeVillier, USA Children's & Women's Hospital administrator, said. "Children do so much better when their families can stay with them."

With nearly 3,000 deliveries each year, USA Children's & Women's Hospital is Mobile's leader in births. The hospital has the area's only Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and a pediatric intensive care unit, each uniquely equipped and staffed to provide the region's most advanced care for premature, critically ill and critically injured children. The NICU treats some 1,000 babies each year, with one-quarter of the babies coming from other hospitals in the region.

USA Children's & Women's Hospital also features the award-winning USS Hope pediatric cancer and sickle cell treatment center, along with a High-Risk Obstetrical unit and a Labor and Delivery unit that are regional referral centers. The hospital's Child Life therapy program addresses developmental, physical, and emotional needs of young patients, and includes the unique Class Act school that teaches nearly 1,000 children every year.

Also at the groundbreaking, the University announced a $10.6 million private fundraising initiative to enhance the programs and services of USA Children's & Women's Hospital and announced the first major gift to the campaign.

"Donors to the 'Campaign for USA Children's & Women's Hospital' will have the opportunity to have their names attached to various rooms and service areas within the hospital, and at the same time enhance the hospital's ability to meet the needs of its patients," Dr. Joseph F. Busta Jr., USA vice president for development and alumni relations, said.

The campaign is being launched with a $975,000 gift from the estate of the late Margarette G. Griffin of Semmes, who died in 2009. The funds are being matched 25 percent by the University to create the $1.2 million Margarette G. Griffin Pediatric Cancer Research Endowment Fund to support the department of pediatric oncology at the hospital.

Mrs. Griffin was born in Mobile and lived most of her adult life in Semmes, where she was active in church and community. While she and her late husband, Roy Delmas Griffin, never had children, both were interested in supporting organizations whose missions centered on providing care to children in need, especially those suffering from pediatric cancer. Mrs. Griffin learned of the work taking place in the USA pediatric oncology program and made the gift to support its efforts to provide services to local children.

In making the gift, Mrs. Griffin wrote to the University, "Combating the ravages of cancer and even eliminating it entirely are goals we both share. I am so pleased that the university is placing a strong emphasis on establishing within our community a major regional cancer research and treatment facility. It is terrible when anyone has cancer, more so when it is a child."

The architect for the expansion project is TRO Jung/Brannen and the general contractor is Doster Construction. The expansion is scheduled to take just over two years to complete.

(Click here for a larger version of photo)

USA Children's & Women's Hospital is one of less than ten freestanding children's and women's hospitals in the country. To learn more about USA Children's & Women's Hospital, please visit or call (251) 415-1000.

For more information about the Campaign for USA Children's & Women's Hospital, contact Travis Grantham, director of medical development and alumni relations, at (251) 461-1775 or e-mail


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