COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Health System officials, along with University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe, announced the opening of a $190 million addition to University Hospital on Monday, March 18.
The eight-story patient care tower, located on the northeast side of University Hospital, includes a $50 million new home for Ellis Fischel Cancer Center.
Also included in the new 310,500 square-foot tower are 90 private patient rooms — all with “smart room” technology, six new operating rooms and shelled space for six more to be built in the future, a 7,000 square-foot inpatient pharmacy, 25 pre-procedure rooms and 18 post-procedure rooms, and the Ellis Fischel Gala and the Brown Family Healing Garden, which is the central focus of the building.
The new tower was built as a green or sustainable building, designed to provide a comfortable, healthy interior environment for the patients, visitors and staff, and to reduce the impact of the structure on the natural environment. Some of the environmentally friendly features of the building include 596 window panels to allow plentiful natural light, recycled construction materials and three green roofs that are covered by plants to reduce rainwater runoff and improve energy efficiency by providing natural insulation.
“This opening is meaningful because it symbolizes the melding of tradition with innovation,” said MU Chancellor Brady Deaton. “The tradition, of course, is University Hospital and all that it represents as the flagship of our great academic medical center. Now, with the opening of this new addition to University Hospital, we have a new tower that symbolizes the innovations in care that are the hallmark of an academic medical center.”
“When we first set out to build this expansion, our aim was to create a state-of-the-art facility for our patients and families, but I think we have exceeded that goal,” said health system Vice Chancellor Harold A. Williamson Jr., M.D. “As I look around this new expansion, I believe we’ve created the hospital of the future. With help from our partners at the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation, we’ve not only incorporated the latest in health care technology but also technologies that were developed here and are the first of their kind in the nation.”
All of the hospital’s 90 private patient rooms are designed as “smart rooms,” equipped with vital signs devices that wirelessly integrate with the health system-wide electronic medical record. The intensive care unit rooms use a technology system called iAware, developed by Cerner and the Tiger Institute at MU Health Care, which allows a physician to walk into a patient’s room, look at a monitor above the patient’s bed and see at a glance the patient’s vital signs for the past 30 hours.
Ellis Fischel Cancer Center’s new home at University Hospital offers patients an ambulatory infusion unit for chemotherapy treatment, a radiation oncology unit with two linear accelerators for radiation therapy treatment, medical imaging with CT and PET scanners, as well as a DEXA bone-density scanner, 66 exam rooms, central Missouri’s only American College of Surgeons-accredited breast health center with 3-D and digital mammography, an outpatient pharmacy, a cancer rehabilitation gym, and a gift shop and boutique, with items unique for cancer patients, such as wigs and breast prostheses.
“The opening of the new University Hospital addition will create 97 new jobs, with the majority of those as nursing positions, but also including positions in pharmacy, housekeeping and nursing support,” said Mitch Wasden, MU Health Care’s chief executive officer and chief operating officer.
“At a time when many hospitals are cutting staff, deferring capital improvements and even closing, MU Health Care is creating new jobs, caring for a growing number of patients, managing its financial resources wisely, and positioning itself to provide world-class care to Missourians well into the future, “ said University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe.
“The University of Missouri contributes to the economic growth of the state in many ways, and here in central Missouri, this new addition to University Hospital has provided an economic boost to the region by employing some 35 subcontractors during its construction,” said Wasden. “But more than that, the tower will continue to have a significant impact for years to come by creating new jobs and by improving the health of countless people into the future, advancing the health of all Missourians.”