ChildServe has announced to its donors the launch of an $8 million expansion project that will double the size of its Ames facility and enable it to serve twice the number of children on the Ames campus within the next five years. 
 
“Research shows that roughly one in 54 children across the country are affected by autism spectrum disorder,” said Dr. Teri Wahlig, CEO of ChildServe. “There is a pressing need for autism services in our community – and as a specialty pediatric healthcare provider, we know early intervention is key to helping children reach their full potential. That’s why ChildServeis taking a proactive approach to investing in the children of Iowa.”
 
The Johnston-based nonprofit also announced the kickoff of a $2 million fundraising campaign towards the project, with a $1 million lead gift by ChildServe supporter Connie French.   
 
As a specialty pediatric health care provider, ChildServe provides more than 30 services to over 5,200 children across Iowa. The nonprofit provides care for children and teens, from birth to age 21, who have experienced medical conditions related to brain injury, spinal cord injury, orthopedic rehabilitation, and burn and wound care, as well as providing follow-up care for neo-intensive care unit infants after they leave the hospital.

Since opening in 1995, ChildServein Ames has been a staple in the community for families raising a child with special healthcare needs. When the current facility was built in 2000, the nonprofit was serving 125 children at that location. Now, ChildServe serves nearly 900 children and families from Story County and 22 surrounding counties through a unique set of services.

With more and more children being diagnosed with autism, more services such as mental health therapy and applied behavior analysis are in demand, the organization said. The expansion will allow for growth of its signature programs, including additional treatment space for complex medical services and rehabilitative therapies, as well as new treatment space for autism and behavioral health services.

In addition, doubling the campus footprint will create more usable space for staff, as well as waiting and wellness rooms for families, and additional space to bring in state-of-the-art rehabilitation technology.

The Ames expansion is part of ChildServe’s larger regional growth strategy, which includes enhancing the organization’s three main campuses in Ames, Des Moines and Iowa City, officials said.  These locations will become regional centers from which ChildServe can extend its reach to surrounding communities with smaller satellite facilities. 
 
For more information about the Ames facility and giving opportunities, contact ChildServe’s vice president of development, Erica Axiotis, by email at e.axiotis@childserve.org.