A rendering shows the planned transformation of UC Health’s Clifton campus over the next five years. Provided by UC Health
By Amanda Nageleisen
Director of Media Relations
UC Health, Greater Cincinnati’s academic health system, will invest $221 million over the next several years to transform patient care and access across its 14-acre Clifton Campus, said Richard P. Lofgren, MD, president & CEO, announced Tuesday. It is the largest construction project in the health system’s history.
“This monumental announcement represents a new day for healthcare in Cincinnati,” Lofgren said. “We believe that Greater Cincinnati deserves a modern academic health system to meet the needs of the community and to reflect the world-class care that our clinicians and employees already provide. We are proud to make this investment in our patients, our people and our community.”
The project will affect every employee at UC Health through investment and training in their capabilities and continuous improvement, supporting a culture of excellence, he said. The project will also affect every aspect of the UC Health Clifton Campus, which spans 14 acres in the heart of Cincinnati’s Uptown district. The campus includes 17 buildings that total 1.7 million gross square feet. All construction will occur within UC Health’s existing footprint, as the health system innovates to provide world-class care in a healing environment.
Specific plans include a significant expansion and renovation of the 30-year-old Emergency Department at University of Cincinnati Medical Center; the construction of a new three-story building to add operating room capacity; and two new parking garages for patients, visitors and employees that will add 1,300 parking spaces.
“I applaud UC Health for continuing to invest in the development and growth of the Uptown area,” said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. “Our community is fortunate to have the resources of a Level I trauma center such as UC Medical Center available when we need them. This expansion of advanced emergency and trauma care will be a tremendous benefit to all residents of Southwest Ohio.”
The $221 million project was approved by the UC Health Board of Directors in August as the first phase of a long-term Campus Master Facility Plan. The plan was the result of several years of study, led by a committee of clinical and operational leadership from across the health system. The project will be funded with a combination of operational dollars, financing and philanthropic support.
“This investment is about more than simply new facilities. These projects will significantly improve the way we serve our patients, from how patients access our campus to how our clinicians deliver care every day,” said Evaline A. Alessandrini, MD., senior vice president and chief medical officer “This is an exciting time to be part of UC Health.”
The revitalization of UC Health’s Clifton Campus began in 2017, when the health system broke ground on the $68 million UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute outpatient building, which opened in April 2019.
In February, UC Health also announced $30 million in improvements to the Clifton Campus, including the renovation of the UC Medical Center lobby and improved wayfinding. That project is already underway.
Physical changes to the Clifton Campus will begin in 2020, and projects will occur in a cascading manner over the next five years. An architectural firm is expected to be engaged by the end of the year.
The “Forward” project includes:
- Expand the UC Medical Center Emergency Department (ED) onto an adjacent vacant lot. The 41,000 square-foot addition will improve capacity and patient flow, including reconfigured access for patient arrivals via ambulance and private vehicles. Renovate the existing 35,000 square-foot ED to provide additional emergency response ability and “surge” capacity for emergency and crisis situations. In FY19, UC Health had 121,596 emergency department and trauma visits and received more than 10,000 patient transfers from other health systems.
- Build three additional floors above the new Emergency Department to accommodate an observation unit, a flexible ICU, a shelled floor for future inpatient care use and a top mechanical floor that will enable a future vertical build of the tower.
- Construct a three-story infill building in the “back porch” area of UC Medical Center near Mont Reid Pavilion to accommodate eight additional operating rooms and other clinical support space. This necessitates the demolition of the radiology administrative building and the old operating pavilion. The hospital’s historic surgical amphitheater, restored in 2005, will not be affected.
- Construct two new parking structures on the campus of 3200 Burnet to accommodate the increased patient care in Ridgeway Tower and to provide additional parking for employees. This will include the demolition of Greenwood Hall, which has been vacant for many years.