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VCU Health breaks ground on $349M outpatient facility

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The new outpatient facility features 16 stories and an integrated parking deck, adding over 1,000 parking spaces for patients and visitors to the downtown medical campus.

VCU Health celebrated a significant milestone in the redevelopment of its downtown medical campus on Friday, breaking ground on a $349.2 million outpatient facility. The facility is the largest capital construction project in VCU Health’s history.

Located at the corner of North 10th and East Leigh streets on the grounds of the former Virginia Treatment Center for Children, the building will unite an array of outpatient services and collaborative spaces for research and teaching. The initial design and construction phase will cost an estimated $77.3 million. The estimated completion date is summer 2020.

“Today, we are one step closer to our vision of becoming the nation’s premier health system,” said Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Health System. “As the only comprehensive academic medical center and largest safety-net provider in the region, VCU Health has always been a point of pride for the people in Virginia and a force for public good. This state-of-the-art health care complex will allow us to further deepen our impact.”

The 16-story, 603,000-square-foot building will consolidate the majority of VCU Massey Cancer Center’s outpatient services on the downtown medical campus, and house a variety of outpatient clinics currently at the Ambulatory Care Center, North Hospital and Nelson Clinic.

“We are embarking on a landmark journey of modernizing our downtown facilities to match the caliber of people and programs that make up VCU Health and to provide the region with spaces that meet the needs and expectations of the people we serve,” said Marsha Rappley, M.D., CEO of VCU Health System and vice president of health sciences at VCU. “We are integrating spaces for research and teaching at the point of clinical care, which allows our teams to do their very best work, together, on behalf of all of our patients.”

VCU and VCU Health leaders break ground on the outpatient facility. (Thomas Kojcsich, University Relations)
VCU and VCU Health leaders break ground on the outpatient facility. (Thomas Kojcsich, University Relations)

The new outpatient facility will include a 472,000-square-foot parking deck with more than 1,000 spaces, increasing patient and visitor parking options.

Deborah Davis, CEO of VCU Hospitals and Clinics and vice president for clinical affairs at VCU, said the new building will go beyond changing the skyline of Richmond, and will challenge people to think differently about academic care delivery.

“We are inviting people to gain a new perspective on what to expect from an academic health center in terms of patient experience,” Davis said. “The outpatient facility sets a new standard of patient experience, convenience and comfort.”

Developed with ongoing input from patient and family advisory committees at VCU Health, the space will be a hub for comprehensive outpatient health care. Patients will benefit from on-site laboratory services, medical imaging, women’s services and rehabilitation services that include physical, occupational and speech therapy. Further consolidating care, outpatient orthopedics, pulmonology and urology, which previously were housed in adjacent locations, will also relocate to the outpatient facility.

With an increasing amount of cancer care provided in outpatient settings, the new building will feature a dedicated tower for ambulatory oncology care. VCU Massey Cancer Center will have its own entrance, lobby, elevators, clinics, radiation and infusion treatment areas, patient resource spaces and dedicated valet and self-parking areas.

“The oncology tower will be the new hub for most of our cancer services downtown,” said Gordon Ginder, M.D., director of VCU Massey Cancer Center. “Our goal is to create a welcoming, healing environment with easier access, improved patient flow and soothing aesthetics.”

VCU Massey Cancer Center will consolidate most outpatient services in the new building, including clinics, oncology infusion and radiation oncology care.
VCU Massey Cancer Center will consolidate most outpatient services in the new building, including clinics, oncology infusion and radiation oncology care.

In addition to providing a space for leading clinical care, the building will feature innovative technology and collaborative spaces to enhance the research and teaching missions of VCU and VCU Health.

“We are distinguished by our world-class academic medicine and our mission to train the health care leaders of tomorrow,” said Peter Buckley, M.D., dean of the VCU School of Medicine and executive vice president for medical affairs at VCU Health. “Our students will seek the cause and cure of diseases and apply their lifesaving discoveries to clinical care in Virginia and beyond. The outpatient facility will be a transformational space for learning and discovery, in addition to patient care, and allow us to pursue more sponsored research opportunities in the future.”

Before the ceremonious turning of the dirt, a cancer survivor and donor who serves on the VCU Massey Cancer Center Advisory Board and VCU Health System Authority Board of Directors reminded attendees of the most important reason to celebrate at the groundbreaking.

“Let us not forget that anyone in need of help will benefit from the outstanding care, team members and knowledge that will define the new outpatient facility,” said throat cancer survivor George Emerson. “Your commitment to caring for all Virginians is something to be proud of, I am honored to be your partner.”

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 217 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Thirty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.