Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health Celebrates Grand Opening

February 28, 2019

The region’s pediatric patients and their families now now have access to the new, state-of-the-art Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health.

Following a grand opening celebration on Monday, February 25, the new hospital opened its doors to begin providing care for infants, children and their families. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit patients were transferred to their new unit on the evening of February 25, and the first surgical cases were performed in the new hospital’s operating room on the morning of Tuesday, February 26. The region’s only dedicated pediatric emergency center opened at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 26 and immediately began treating patients arriving by ambulance and self transport. 

In June 2016, amid a climate that has seen a number of hospital closures and limited hospital expansion,

Navicent Health announced its intent to construct a new Children’s Hospital facility, with plans to begin

serving the region’s patients in 2019. With more than 45,000 visits projected annually, the state-of-the-art institution will attract new talent to Macon-Bibb County and serve as an important anchor in the community while contributing to downtown Macon’s transformation and economic development. 

“We are delighted to complete this project, and begin serving patients and their families in the new, state-of-the-art Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health. This hospital promises greater benefits to the children of central and south Georgia through the coordination of multiple pediatric services and specialities provided by caring professionals at the local level,” said Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders, President and CEO of Navicent Health. 

Since 1987, the nonprofit Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health has been committed to enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education. The only dedicated pediatric facility in central Georgia, and one of the most comprehensive in the state, it provides care in general pediatrics, pediatric critical care, neonatal intensive care and outpatient services. The hospital also serves as the primary teaching site for the Department of Pediatrics at the Mercer University School of Medicine.

Due to a growing demand for additional service options, the hospital had outgrown its facility, constructed in 1962 and designed for adult healthcare. Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital has been constructed adjacent to the existing facility, expanding the hospital’s size by 100,000 square feet, providing a total of 160,000 square feet dedicated to pediatric care. The project has been designed with the option to add additional floors in the future to further allow for the expansion of services in a hospital designed to meet the specific needs of ill and injured children.

“With a proven track record of providing excellent pediatric and neonatal care, we no longer had the capacity to meet the region’s demand. We are committed to comprehensive, excellent care delivered by highly trained, board-certified pediatric physicians and clinical staff that will be housed under one roof in our new facility with the focus on our pediatric patient population. This hospital has been designed with children in mind, providing everything from family-centered care to the latest technologies to ensure their care is provided in a warm, welcoming and even fun environment,” said Mitch Rodriguez, MD, business development director for Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health.

The new 160,000 square-foot children’s hospital will house:

  • 66 neonatal intensive care beds;
  • 21 pediatric critical care beds;
  • four pediatric operating rooms;
  • 23 general pediatric beds;
  • new technologies, including a fleet of pediatric remote control transport cars to allow children to “drive” themselves to procedures;
  • the region’s only dedicated pediatric emergency center;
  • the only pediatric imaging center in central and south Georgia; and,
  • outpatient services including infusions for patients with cancer and sickle cell anemia.

The new Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health is made possible through philanthropic support.

“Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health has always relied on philanthropic support, and we are grateful to our donors for their commitment to Georgia’s most fragile children. This new facility has been made possible through the generosity of  more than 5,000 donors who contributed over $41 million. Those who have given to the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital campaign have made an investment not only in the children of today, but for the generations to come. Whether it is a premature infant born at less than one pound or a teenager recovering from an automobile accident, donors make a significant difference in the lives of our precious children. Those we serve are grateful for the community’s continued support of our children’s hospital,” said Ellen Terrell, Chief Development Officer of Navicent Health Foundation.

The capital campaign for the new  hospital began with the philanthropic support of Beverly Knight Olson, the hospital’s namesake, and the Knight Foundation.

“My family and I have been pleased to support this wonderful organization for many years, and we invite our community to become a part of the growing legacy for children who have and will continue to depend on the specialized care provided by the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health,” said Olson.

The construction of Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital is one of a number of initiatives Navicent Health plans to undertake within the next five years in order to dramatically improve access to high-quality, reasonably-priced care within the region. 

In the attached photos:

  • BKO_001 – Julianna Kennedy, a former Pediatric Intensive Care Unit patient from Macon, enjoys the children’s play area on the Outpatient Services floor. 
  • BKO_002 – Matthew Snow, a former Neonatal Intensive Care Unit patient from Tifton, stands with his banner in the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The banner is intended to encourage families of current neonatal patients.
  • BKO 003 – On February 25, Navicent Health leaders, physicians, clinicians and community leaders officially cut the ribbon to open Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health. 
  • BKO NNICU 003 and BKO NNICU 004 – Neonatal Intensive Care Unit patients were transported to Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health’s new 66 bed Neonatal ICU on Monday, February 25. 

About Navicent Health
Navicent Health, the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia, is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Providing more than 1,000 beds and offering care in 53 specialities at more than 50 facilities throughout the region, Navicent Health provides care for healthcare consumers’ through an academic medical center; community, pediatric and rehabilitation hospitals; urgent care centers; physician practices; diagnostic centers; home health; hospice and palliative care; and a life plan community. Navicent Health is dedicated enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally-recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. For more information, please