Visitors to Nemours, the chateau-style home in Wilmington built by industrialist and philanthropist Alfred I. duPont, will likely notice the imposing stone walls that surround the sweeping estate. But the property is much more than a tourist attraction. The grounds are also home to the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
Since opening in 1940, Nemours has ventured far beyond the stone walls. Along with a hospital in Florida, there are primary care satellite offices in Delaware, Florida and Pennsylvania.
Nemours has specialty care locations in those states, as well as Georgia and New Jersey, and urgent care locations in Florida and Pennsylvania. But in Delaware, outpatient specialty-care services — such radiology, immunology and speech therapy — have only been available at the original hospital in Wilmington.
“Anyone below Milford or Dover has to drive a good distance to see our specialists at the hospital,” says Ann M. Hurst, administrator of ambulatory operations for Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
The timing of Bayhealth’s new Sussex County campus in Milford was fortuitious. Nemours had already identified Milford as an ideal location.
Nemours will occupy the first floor — about 35,000 square feet — of a new 85,000-square-foot, three-story building planned for site, which will be named for Nemours. Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus, is currently under construction on the site.
Nemours will also move its primary-care services to the new building.
To create the ideal environment, Nemours asked nurses and technicians to build a cardboard mockup in a warehouse. Parents also provided input. “They walked through and had some good suggestions about what did and did not feel good,” Hurst says.
Telemedicine is already part of Nemours’ IT initiative. The site also may benefit from remote check-ins via an app that’s in the pilot phase. “Hopefully, by the time the building opens, we can drop that technology right in,” Hurst says.
Construction on the Nemours Building is scheduled to start in late 2018. It will open in 2020.
Nemours has been on the move in other respects. Nemours Biomedical Research has leased two floors in Building 400 at the DuPont Experimental Station, which is adjacent to the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and the Nemours Estate.
The $200 million commitment involves the relocation of several labs and about 68 Nemours scientists, clinical investigators, post-doctorate fellows and support staff. Most of the labs and research programs have already relocated to the facility, which has 5,000 square feet of laboratory and office space. About 30 students from the University of Delaware and other area universities will participate in research programs using these facilities.