A new inpatient home for Duke Children's families

A new bed tower at Duke University Hospital has now fully opened, with pediatric patients and their families moving into new rooms on four floors over the weekend of December 10-12. 

The move-in culminates years of planning and construction of the 11-floor Duke Central Tower, which was designed to provide larger, private patient rooms that accommodate technologically advanced medical equipment, more comfortable overnight family stays with additional space and furniture, and features that enhance staff and patient interactions.

“At Duke University Hospital our children’s team delivers remarkable care for patients from across North Carolina and the southeast including many complex and medically vulnerable patients and their families,” said Thomas A. Owens, M.D., president of Duke University Hospital and senior vice president of Duke University Health System.

“These patients and their parents may spend days, weeks -- sometime even months -- with our caregivers,” Owens said. “Our new Duke Central Tower children’s facility is an example of our commitment to not only providing world class clinical care, but also to do so in an environment which promotes healing and wellbeing for our patients and their families.”

Work on the Duke Central Tower began in late 2017 and cost approximately $265 million to construct the 350 beds.

The building’s first four floors now serve as the new home for Duke Children’s Hospital, and special attention has been focused on accommodating the needs of pediatric patients. Many children require hospital stays of 30 days or more while undergoing treatment for various diseases, and family members often accompanying them for the duration.

Features for children and families in the new bed tower include:

  • Patient rooms that average more than twice the size of previous rooms
  • Furniture that transitions into beds for family members
  • Two pediatric cardiac catheterization lab
  • New state-of-the-art pharmacy service
  • Designated family zones
  • Children’s activity rooms

“The expansion of space for pediatric care in the Duke Central Tower allows our team to provide an enhanced patient experience and for that, we’re grateful,” said Ann Reed, M.D., chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Duke University School of Medicine. “With the larger rooms, our care teams can provide services and therapies right in the room. We will be delivering our extraordinary care in an extraordinary new space. We hope this helps families feel more comfortable and supported during their time with us.”

Moving the Duke Children’s Hospital units took three days starting Dec. 10, with teams working collaboratively under the direction of a coordinated command center to create a seamless move with as little disruption as possible.

Earlier this year, adult patients were moved into the other floors of the new central tower, which has units for oncology, transplant, orthopedics, and neurosciences, including neuroscience intensive care. With patients now occupying most of the new Duke Central Tower space, the older rooms at Duke University Hospital will undergo renovations and updates.

“At Duke University Hospital, we put the person who needs our care at the center of everything we do,” said Mary Martin, chief operating officer of Duke University Hospital. “The Duke Central Tower is an investment in the actualization of our values, as we care for our patients, their loved ones and the team members responsible providing quality care. We are proud of this new building and look forward to sharing it with our community.”


  • Construction began: 2017
  • Construction cost: $265 million
  • Square footage: 490,000
  • Number of floors: 11
  • Number of pediatric floors: 4


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