Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center

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Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center

Le Bonheur Children's Hospital is a 255-bed, tertiary care children's hospital located in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee. It has more than 500 medical staff representing 45 pediatric specialties. It is a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Physicians training in general and subspecialty areas of pediatrics, surgery, radiology, pathology, maternal-fetal medicine, orthopedics, otolaryngology, neurosciences, cardiology and other medical specialties undergo service rotations at the hospital. The children's hospital primarily serves children from 95 counties and six states including Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas but also serves patients from all over the world due to its nationally recognized brain tumor program. It is the home of the Children's Foundation Research Center. It functions as the region's primary level 1 pediatric trauma center, the next closest being either Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas or the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee.


Le Bonheur was founded in 1952 by the Le Bonheur Club, originally a women's sewing circle, and was originally an orphanage dedicated to caring for poor children. The Le Bonheur Club members raised all of the money for the initial investment for the hospital. When the doors opened on June 15, 1952, the Le Bonheur Club President Mrs. Howard Pritchard stated, "The doors of Le Bonheur will never be found closed and will forever hereafter be open to those who come in need, seeking its help."

Since 1952, the medical center has gone through two major expansion projects and is currently raising $100 million to build "the New Le Bonheur," to be located on the adjacent block due north of the present site.

In 1995, Le Bonheur became a part of the Methodist Healthcare group. It is supported by the Memphis, Mississippi and Arkansas conferences of The United Methodist Church.

In 2007, Meri Armour, MSN, MBA was named president/chief executive officer.

The emergency H1N1 tent at Le Bonheur was featured on NBC national news on September 28, 2009.

On December 3, 2010, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital opened the emergnecy department in its newly renovated 12-story patient-care tower, and moved its patients into the new tower in two days on December 4-5.

Pedi-Flite Team

Le Bonheur maintains a fleet of two ambulances equipped for critical care transport and staffed by an EMT-IV or Paramedic, an RN, and an RRT. PediFlite also contracts with Hospital Wing in Memphis for helicopter transports utilizing PediFlite's crew. PediFlite has a 150 mile primary ground and rotor radius. We are able to do long distance ground transports as well as fixed wing transports. PediFlite transports any patient from birth to 18 years of age. PediFlite is dispatched from the hospital transfer center.

Future Development

Le Bonheur is planning a $235 million US Dollar expansion onto the current campus. This expansion will put the facility at 1 million square feet. The expansion will involve the construction of a 12 story tower and a 330 space parking garage. The new tower will accommodate 230 beds and 14 room surgical suite. After the construction of the new tower is complete, a portion of the old facility will be torn down to build a new 490 space parking garage, new entrance, and green space that can be utilized for later expansions. This expansion will also involve enlarging the emergency department with the plans to handle patient volumes through the year 2014. Construction was scheduled to begin in the summer of 2007 and is expected to be finished in 2010.

On February 14, 2008, ground was broken on the new expansion by Le Bonheur executives. The site for the expansion is the site of the old Memphis Mental Health Institute, which was demolished to make way for it.


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