First patients officially welcomed to new WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital

The hospital also sees its first surgery performed

Published on 09/29/2022

Attention Editors and News Directors: A multimedia press kit, including photos, videos and stories about the various units and services offered at WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital, can be accessed here.

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia – Today (September 29) was a day of firsts for the new WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital with the first patients transferred to the facility and the first surgery performed the same day.

“Opening the doors to our new children’s hospital is a day our team will never forget,” said Amy L. Bush, BSN, MBA, RN, CNOR, WVU Medicine Children’s Executive Director. “A very special thank you to our patients, our families, the community and the entire healthcare team. We look forward to continuing our mission to build a healthier future for our children and to provide the best possible outcomes for the children who need our care.

(Clockwise from top left): Adilynn “Addi Jo” Goodnight, Kenadie Barclay, Salvatore Coneway and Maverick Davis were the first patients transferred to WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital.

Before sunrise, five-week-old Adilynn “Addi Jo” Goodnight, of Birch River in Nicholas County, was transported from the sixth floor of the WVU Medicine JW Ruby Memorial Hospital to the pediatric intensive care unit (USIP) on the sixth floor of the new children’s hospital, making her the first patient admitted to the new facility.

Little Addi Jo has been a patient of WVU Medicine Children’s since she was born on August 17. She was diagnosed with coarctation of the aorta at birth and underwent heart surgery when she was one week old.

Jessica King, Addi Jo’s mother, said she was very happy the baby was chosen to be the first patient at the new hospital.

“It’s really sweet that they chose her over everyone else because she’s been through so much,” King said. “She’ll have that experience to look back on when she gets older.”

Addi Jo was followed at the new WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital by Kenadie Barclay, 12, of Jane Lew in Lewis County, who was the first patient admitted to the pediatric acute care unit on the ninth floor. At 11 a.m. this morning, newborns Maverick Davis of Morgantown and Salvatore Coneway of Allison, Pennsylvania were the first patients admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) on the seventh floor.

First surgery

The first surgeries at WVU Medicine Children's Hospital
Top photo: Dr. Osama Al-Omar (front row, third from left) and the team that performed the first surgery at WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital. Bottom photo: Dr. John Lubicky, chief of pediatric orthopedics at WVU Medicine Children’s, in the waiting room of the new WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital.

While patients and staff made their way from Ruby Memorial Hospital to WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital, surgical staff worked on the third floor performing the first surgery at the new facility.

Osama Al-Omar, MD, MBA, chief of pediatric urology, operated on 1-year-old Dallas Kelly of Fairmont in Marion County.

“As soon as we met him, we knew it was him,” Dallas’ father Jake Kelly said of Dr. Al-Omar. Mum Emily Kelly added: ‘We didn’t get a second opinion because we trusted her. Finding doctors who are this friendly is a rare thing.

Emily said she understands how stressful it can be to have a child who needs surgery, but she wants other parents to know that she found the Children’s staff to be knowledgeable, comforting and accommodating. .

“We were impressed with the knowledge and skills of the team, but also how they made us feel like parents,” she said. “There is no better place.”

Al-Omar said the operation went well without any problems or complications.

“I am very happy that we now have a children’s hospital dedicated to WVU medicine so that we can help and serve our patients in the best way,” he said, adding that the success of the procedure was the result. of a team effort. “This is about the entire team who worked with us on this first case and all the people who made this dream of a new hospital a reality.”

John Lubicky, MD, chief of pediatric orthopedics, echoed Al-Omar’s enthusiasm for the building and the larger operating rooms therein.

“It’s a monumental day. It’s the opening of the children’s hospital that has been planned for a very long time,” Dr. Lubicky said. “The orthopedic surgery operating room is so much better than the one we planes in the other building. It’s bigger, brighter, and has a lot more gadgets in the room. It’s kind of cool.

Lubicky, who performed the state’s first pediatric robotic spine surgery in 2018 and introduced other new orthopedic technologies and treatments to WVU Medicine Children’s, said the opening of the hospital will allow even more ‘innovation.

“We recently introduced some things that we didn’t offer before,” he said, “and we will do more.”

Looking forward while looking back

Mary Fanning, DNP, RN, FRE, NEA-BC, vice president of nursing clinical services and associate chief nurse at WVU Medicine Children’s, was an intensive care unit nurse when Children’s opened as a hospital in a hospital inside Ruby Memorial in 1988.

Mary Fanning and Dr. Chuck Mullett
From top to bottom: Mary Fanning and Dr. Charles Mullett

“When I moved here from southern West Virginia to go to nursing school, this area was pretty much just a field. In fact, I think there was a field of golf on this property. Seeing all of the buildings and infrastructure that have been built over the years for our patients and citizens of West Virginia is just amazing,” Fanning said. “The new hospital is a dream come true for many, many. of people. I couldn’t be prouder and I’m determined not to cry today.

Charles Mullett, MD, Ph.D., chairman of the WVU Department of Pediatrics, is the son of Martha Mullett, MD, the state’s first neonatologist, and son-in-law of the late William Neal, MD, who was chairman of the Pediatrics department when Ruby opened. Both were among the first doctors to practice inside the former children’s hospital.

“The opening of the new children’s hospital has just been part of the mission that I feel deep in my body. It gets things done for the children of our state. I took over from my mother, stepfather Bill Neal and Dr. (Robert) Gustafson (former chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery) and moved it one more lap forward. Of course, it’s a big, exciting ride with the opening of the new building, such a big leap forward for children in our state,” said Dr. Charles Mullett.

When asked if he had anything else to add about moving-in day or the new hospital, Mullett replied, “Hey, mom, we did it.”

For more information about WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital, visit

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