09:11 AM

American Family Children's Hospital celebrates 10-year anniversary


This week marks 10 years of care provided by American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin.

On August 29, 2007, American Family Children’s Hospital opened its doors for the first time. About 50 patients were transferred from the old University of Wisconsin Children’s Hospital (located within University Hospital) into spacious rooms with amenities for families, including showers and beds for families to stay overnight or get some rest. Since the opening, the hospital has grown from 61 beds to 87 beds and will soon grow to 111 beds by the end of the year. The hospital has a national reputation since U.S. News and World Report has ranked it among the 50 best children’s hospitals in the country.

American Family Insurance kicked off the fundraising with a $10 million naming gift in 2003 and has since contributed an additional $10 million in corporate, employee and agent gifts. Former hospital President and CEO Donna Sollenberger and Dr. Dennis Lund, the former director of pediatric surgery, helped champion the need for a new children’s hospital and helped raise $41 million from the community, about half of what it cost to build the new children’s hospital. Construction of the state-of-the-art hospital cost $78 million.

“The children’s hospital has had tremendous growth in the breadth and depth of clinical programs and services over the past 10 years,” said American Family Children’s Hospital President Jeff Poltawsky, “We have developed signature programs in the areas of cancer, heart, pulmonary, neurosciences, neonatal and pediatric surgery serving patients from Wisconsin, northern Illinois and beyond...” With the leadership of our Chair of Pediatrics, Dr. Ellen Wald, and clinical leadership throughout UW Health, we have doubled the size of our faculty to over 300 pediatric specialists.

Since the hospital opened, a surgical unit with eight operating rooms, a low-dose imaging pavilion and a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) specializing in babies with complex surgical have been added.

Construction is underway on the seventh and eighth floors, which were shelled in to accommodate future growth. The Level IV NICU and a universal care unit now occupy the eighth floor. The universal-care unit, which is a specialized-unit that provides various levels of care for children who require 27/7 monitoring for seizures, are technology dependent or are newly diagnosed with diabetes, will move to the seventh floor. The NICU will be expanded to occupy the entire eighth floor.

American Family Children’s Hospital has the capacity to grow to 137 beds in the future.

In the last 10 years, the hospital has treated patients from 49 states. Patient admissions during that time totaled 43,000, surgeons have performed more than 48,000 surgeries and the hospital has had nearly 420,000 outpatient visits.


About American Family Children's Hospital
American Family Children's Hospital is a comprehensive pediatric medical and surgical center featuring nationally recognized pediatric specialists in a wide range of fields, including faculty from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Health. Named for a generous gift from American Family Insurance and located in Madison, Wisconsin, the state-of-the-art facility wins widespread praise for its expert care and a warm, soothing atmosphere that enhances a child's ability to heal. For more information contact Toni Morrissey, (608) 263-3223 or

About American Family Insurance
Madison, Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance group, celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2017, is the nation's 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group and ranks No. 315 on the Fortune 500 list. The company sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, primarily through its exclusive agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates (The General and Homesite) also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the Internet or by phone. Web; Facebook; Twitter