Extension of UI Hospitals & Clinics’ existing Iowa City campus at Forevergreen Road in North Liberty to increase state capacity for tertiary and quaternary care and build pipeline for future physicians
North Liberty, IOWA – Oct. 14, 2021 – To address the state’s critical health care needs, University of Iowa Health Care is breaking ground on a new campus at the corner of Forevergreen Road and Highway 965 in North Liberty.
The Forevergreen Road campus is being built to accommodate up to: 48 beds, 21 emergency care rooms, 16 operating rooms and two more procedure rooms, laboratories, a pharmacy, advanced diagnostic imaging, outpatient clinics, as well as teaching and research space to prepare the next generation of Iowa physicians.
Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in meeting the health care needs of patients and families from across the entire state of Iowa. The new campus will allow us to better meet Iowa’s growing need for highly specialized, comprehensive care and additional highly trained health care professionals.
Expanding tertiary care capacity
UI Hospitals & Clinics has seen an increased demand for its complex care services in recent years and has consistently operated at greater than 90% adult occupancy, even prior to the pandemic. The new Forevergreen Road campus will begin to help address capacity constraints of the UI Hospitals & Clinics’ Iowa City campus.
“We’ve been operating at a very high capacity for a long time, and our staff have been working around existing space constraints in order to provide high-quality patient care,” says Suresh Gunasekaran, MBA, CEO, UI Hospitals & Clinics and associate vice president for University of Iowa Health Care. “These new facilities will begin to reduce congestion on our main campus, improve resident education, and enhance the patient experience by providing convenient access to world-class physicians and state-of-the-art technology.”
A driving force behind the increased demand for UI Hospitals & Clinics’ services is the state’s current shortage of tertiary and quaternary care, which is highly specialized care that involves advanced procedures and treatment performed by specialists, usually over an extended period of time. UI Hospitals & Clinics is the state’s only comprehensive, tertiary- and quaternary-level medical center, and the additional campus will expand capacity to provide this complex care.
“Most people know we care for people from all over the state, but they may not realize how often that occurs,” says Gunasekaran. “More than 70% of our patients come from outside Johnson and Linn Counties. We accept thousands of patient transfers each year from community hospitals across Iowa and as a result are among the leading transfer centers in the country.”
Preparing the next generation of Iowa’s physicians
In addition to increasing state-wide tertiary care capacity, the new campus will also play an important role in addressing substantial physician shortage projected in Iowa over the next 10 years by expanding UI Hospitals & Clinics’ existing teaching capacity.
As Iowa’s largest educator of health care professionals, UI Health Care actively builds a pipeline of health care providers who go on to practice in communities across the state. In fact, approximately half of the state of Iowa’s physicians received education from the University of Iowa.
“Ultimately, this project will help us recruit world-class physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals to live and work in Iowa, as well as attract a cadre of outstanding students and trainees,” says Jackson.
Construction of the new campus is slated for completion in 2025. No state appropriations will be used to fund this project.