OU Medicine expects to complete medical tower in fall 2020Published: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 By: Steve Metzer Source: The Journal Record
A major milestone was reached Wednesday at the site of the largest hospital expansion in Oklahoma history.
A “topping out” ceremony was held in the 700 block of NE 13th Street, where the new OU Medicine patient tower has been rising for two years.
Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt and other dignitaries including Oklahoma Secretary of Health and Mental Health Jerome Loughridge gathered to watch as a crane placed the new building’s uppermost steel beam into place.
The day was a turning point in the construction process, which is expected to be complete in the fall of 2020.
“Now we can begin working on the inside,” OU Medicine President and CEO Chuck Spicer said. “This has been a long time coming, and we’re just celebrating what we think is a great long-term investment for the future of Oklahoma.”
The 456,000-square-foot building, with one floor below ground and eight rising above, has been under construction since November 2017. It represents an investment of $364 million. OU Medical Center President Kris Gose said it will add significantly to the health care hub’s capacity to perform surgeries, as 32 brand-new operating rooms will be opened. It also will include rooms for 144 additional patient beds to support needs of patients at Stephenson Cancer Center as well as those undergoing critical and complex surgical procedures and those in need of trauma care.
“It’s being designed with a lot of advanced technology, a lot of robotics equipment supporting our ability to do very complex surgeries and provide care that others may not be equipped to provide,” Gose said.
The patient rooms will be unique in that they’ll lend themselves to multiple levels of care.
“Most of the time in hospitals you have medical surgical beds, step-down beds and ICU beds. These rooms are actually built to be any of those,” Gose said. “So a patient can stay in the same room and care will go to the patient. … (Also), family space is a critical design element that you’ll see integrated in multiple ways. Patient rooms are bigger, with more space for visitors.”
The medical center president added that the tower will facilitate the research and teaching missions of OU Medicine as well as its abilities to assist other hospitals in caring for patients across the state.
Loughridge and others commented on the impact the center has not only on health care but on the economy of the Sooner State. It was noted that OU Medicine has added 600 employees over the last couple of years and is expected to add another 100 full-time staff members as the tower approaches completion.
OU Medical Center will host a job fair from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 12 on the first floor of the hospital at the southeast corner of NE 13th Street and Lincoln Boulevard.
Read the story on JournalRecord.com.