Guest Commentator: Peter Grollman, Senior Vice President, External Affairs, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, @ChildrensPhila

How would transportation investments at University City benefit our region’s economy and how would it accommodate and accelerate University City’s growth?

Unlike our employees who may bike or use public transportation to get to work, patients come to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia one of three ways:  car, ambulance or helicopter.  Since the hospital moved to University City in 1974, over 6 million square feet has been added to accommodate 546 beds, a research institute, outpatient care and more.

We’ve made good progress in treating many patients closest to their homes. CHOP has over 50 CHOP Care Network locations throughout Southeast Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. Last year, many of our 1.3 million outpatient visits took place away from our main campus. This is just one way we are reducing congestion in University City and creating a better experience for children, their families – and our neighbors.

CHOP builds to meet the needs of our patients. Our main campus is the epicenter of our mission.  It’s where the latest breakthroughs in our labs are used to treat children in our hospital. It’s also where we train the next generation of pediatricians.  Much of what we do in University City cannot be exported somewhere else.

So making investments in good transportation infrastructure is vital to making children well — and ensuring safe and reliable access to our care.  It will also yield strong economic benefits to our region.  Powered by over 14,000 employees, CHOP is Philadelphia’s second largest private sector employer with an economic impact of over $4.5 billion.  Two of our more recent construction projects, the Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care and the Roberts Center for Pediatric Research — along with other capital improvements — have created thousands of construction jobs amounting to 4.5 million labor hours of work.

CHOP is known throughout the world for breakthroughs and it has become a destination for sick children from near and far, making further growth and the need for improved transportation infrastructure inevitable.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is a member organization of the CEO Council for Growth (CEO Council), an initiative of the Chamber consisting of a devoted group of business, higher education, and civic leaders who commit their time and efforts to enhancing economic growth and prosperity in the 11-county region influencing regional and national policy through advocacy.

This blog post is one in a series of submissions bringing exposure to project areas listed in the CEO Council’s Connecting the Region: A Transportation Strategy for Greater Philadelphia.