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Children’s hospital eyeing expansion into Ironton

IRONTON — One of the nation’s leading pediatric hospitals could be expanding its services into Ironton by summer.

Columbus-based Nationwide Children’s Hospital, routinely named as one of the top hospitals in America for children’s healthcare, is “definitely looking” to expand into Lawrence County, a hospital spokesperson said Monday.

Pam Barber, media relations spokesperson for the hospital confirmed the possibility of expansion, but did not know the scope of the growth or a possible timetable.

Barber said she needed to “double-check” with the company’s planning department on the status of the expansion, but did say that “no leases have been signed to date.”

The hospital’s Web site currently shows resumes being accepted for a full-time medical laboratory technician and a part-time phlebotomist based in Ironton.

Outside of its main Columbus campus, Children’s Hospital operates a variety of regional care and health centers.

Barber said the proposed Ironton facility most likely would be either a Close to Home Center with ChildLab capabilities or a stand alone ChildLab laboratory.

Close to Home Centers are community-based testing, treatment and care centers for children and families.

They offer a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic services for newborns, children and young adults.

Some of the services offered include laboratory and radiology work, counseling and guidance services, language and speech pathology, occupational and physical therapy along with electrocardiogram testing (EKG) and electroencephalogram testing (EEG).

ChildLab is a pediatric reference laboratory that allows lab tests to be conducted for patients not only in the Children’s Hospital system, but a variety of health care centers and hospitals. Children’s currently operates 13 ChildLab centers statewide.

With more than 950 medical staff members and 6,000 employees, Nationwide Children’s Hospital has been ranked as one the best hospitals in the United States by both U.S. News & World Report and Child Magazine under the categories of both “Best Hospital” and “Emergency Services.

The hospital is also the pediatric teaching hospital for The Ohio State University School of Medicine.