By: Courtney Zieller
It might be hard to believe but it's been a year since Sioux Falls' Castle of Care opened its doors for the very first time.
It's the only stand alone children's hospital in the region with almost 150 beds and more than 60 pediatricians, many of them specialists. It's also one of the only castles in the Midwest.
A year ago this week, Sanford staff and 31 patients moved into the facility. Now 54 children are staying in the castle.
Officials say they've seen a 25 percent increase in volume compared to the year before the building opened. The vice president of Sanford Children's Hospital says all of the efforts put into making the castle a place where families can relax in a time of crisis have paid off.
"When we look back at how we involved patients and families in designing that. They're very appreciative of having space that really was meant for them and even though they're here because they're ill and that's a difficult situation. It really is about the child first and the parents support," Jan Haugen-Rogers said.
Looking toward the future, hospital officials says they plan to expand the emergency department and cardiovascular services. They also hope to do MRIs on site within the next two years.
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