OAKLAND, Calif.-Children's Hospital Oakland has acquired a historic 6.86-acre Oakland parcel known as Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza for relocation and expansion of its pediatric research institute. The 205-bed pediatric hospital paid the City of Oakland $9 million for the vacant property, five blocks from its main campus, which includes a building once used by the Black Panther Party in the 1970s. Construction of the new 62,000-square-foot research complex, which involves converting the existing building into laboratory and office space, is expected to cost $15 million. Completion is slated for August.
HELENA, Mont.-Montana kicked off its federally subsidized healthcare insurance program for low income children on Jan. 1. The program, known as BlueCHIP, is being operated by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, which receives about $90 a month from the state to cover each child. Eligible children are those whose families earn up to 150% of the federal poverty level, or about $24,600 for a family of four, but do not qualify for Medicaid. Officials estimate nearly 15,000 children in the state are eligible for coverage, although only about 840 were enrolled at the start date.