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Updated 11:00 AM October 30, 2008




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Children's, women's hospital building project grows
to meet increased patient demand

Facility to include MRI/OR, more private patient beds

The U-M Health System is intensifying its commitment to the health of children and women in the state and across the nation — as well as its investment in the Michigan economy — to meet the high demand for patient care services.

The Board of Regents at its Oct. 23 meeting approved a plan to enhance the scope and budget for the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Women's Hospital building project.

With its sights set on future patient care needs and advances in medical technology, the majority of shelled space will be completed within the new facility, currently under construction on the U-M medical campus.

Building out this interior space will allow for the addition of 84 private patient beds, two magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) units, an operating room and an inter-operative MRI operating room suite. Plus, unfinished shell space will remain for possible future growth in emergency medicine, radiology and surgery. The expansion will cost $231 million, and the facility will open in fall 2012.

The project, designed by HKS Architects, will be funded through philanthropy and hospital reserves. UMHS has raised more than $50 million of its $75 million fund-raising goal for the new facility.

"The fast-changing world of health care — new treatments and technology — is driving increased demand for obstetric and pediatric patient care," says Patricia Warner, associate hospital director and chief administrative officer, C. S. Mott Children's Hospital and Women's Hospital. "By enhancing the scope of this building project, we'll be able to not only open the doors to a new facility that will accommodate advances in medical technology, but also one that will provide the best care possible to the women and children in Michigan and across the country."

In addition to other improvements at the hospital, a new MRI/OR will be brought in to assist surgeons when they operate on children with brain tumors, hydrocephalitis and other conditions. The MRI/OR will allow neurosurgeons to see the images from an MRI scan while they are operating on a patient, rather than waiting until an MRI is performed after the surgery.

The images will show how much of a tumor has been removed and how much still needs to be resected, and will improve surgeons' ability to navigate around areas of functionality in the brain. This will prevent patients from needing a second operation in many cases because surgeons now will have all of the information they need during the course of the surgery.

"This will dramatically improve the quality of care we offer to our patients," says Dr. Karin Muraszko, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and chief of pediatric neurosurgery. "The MRI/OR allows us to push the boundaries of what we are able to do in neurological surgery."

Along with the MRI/OR, the new 1.1-million-square-foot children's and women's facility will now include 13 pediatric operating rooms, four pediatric surgical procedure rooms, four Caesarean section suites, and 348 private inpatient beds, including 50 single room maternity care beds upon completion.

Prominent in both size and scope, the hospitals will host wide spans of glass to bring natural lighting into the facility, and will provide inpatient rooms with scenic views of the Nichols Arboretum and Huron River. The design also will incorporate curved forms and building insets that relate to the arboretum. A sky-lit canopy will greet patients and guests while a two-story lobby and waiting area — overlooking outdoor courtyards — will create an inviting entry into the facility.

UMHS also plans to pursue LEED certification for the building project, which will feature a green roof with a grass-like top designed to decrease run-off and provide insulation.

Construction for the new facility is well underway. Steel for the 12-story in-patient tower has been erected, and the steel work is near completion for the nine-story clinic tower. In all, 12,906 pieces of structural steel will be used for the building project.

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