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University of Utah Hospital Celebrates Completion of New Patient Care Pavilion

July 20, 2009

The impressive new Patient Care Pavilion at the University of Utah Hospital, built by Layton Construction and designed by Architectural Nexus, is officially ready to operate. A grand opening event and ribbon cutting ceremony for the more than 300,000 square foot expansion to the hospital was held last week, celebrating the culmination of an ambitious project eight years in the making that greatly improves the services the hospital is able to provide.

The University Hospital opened in 1981 and serves 60,000 patients in an average year. To offer better services and keep pace with the growing state of Utah, a nearly-decade-long expansion to the hospital began in 2001, with the Eccles Critical Care Pavilion opening in 2003 and an expansion to the facility's parking structure and helipad wrapping up in 2007. Layton and Architectural Nexus worked together on both of those projects in addition to the newly opened Patient Care Pavilion.

"You could not ask for a better design and build team," David Entwistle, CEO of the University Hospital and Clinics, said during the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The master of ceremonies for the Patient Care Pavilion's ribbon cutting was Emily Roosevelt, J.D., who had a successful heart transplant surgery at the hospital a little over a year ago as well as several other surgeries in the past couple of years. Choosing Roosevelt as master of ceremonies was done to show the University Hospital's commitment to putting the patient first in every sense, but most notably with the way that the new wing was built.

"This new hospital was designed and constructed in a very special way," said Roosevelt. "...the patient's needs are their No. 1 priority."

Work on the last phase of the University Hospital expansion began in the summer of 2006. For the project, Layton added two levels on top of the hospital's existing East Wing (the Eccles Critical Care Pavilion) and constructed an entire new West Wing, consisting of two basement levels and five stories above ground--all while the busy hospital continued to function. Layton has much experience in health care construction and was able to complete the project with as little disruption to the operating hospital as possible.

The new Patient Care Pavilion includes 120 new private patient rooms, new patient admitting, an outpatient pharmacy in the lobby, inpatient food services and cafeteria, ambulatory outpatient clinics, support services, ancillary and diagnostic treatments, administrative services, shelled space for future growth and updated mechanical services.

Ultimately, the new Patient Care Pavilion will better serve the needs of the hospital's inpatients and support the development and growth of critical service lines, which include cardiovascular and surgical services and the neurosciences. The expansion provides the best space possible for staff and patients alike, allowing the University Hospital to continue offering the best care possible.

"People don't have to leave Utah to get the best, most specialized care," Lorris Betz, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for Health Sciences at the University of Utah and CEO of the University of Utah Health System, said at the grand opening. "It's right here."

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University of Utah Health Care is the Intermountain West's only academic health care system, combining excellence in patient care, the latest in medical research, and teaching to provide leading-edge medicine in a caring and personal setting. The system provides care for Utahns and residents of five surrounding states in a referral area encompassing more than 10 percent of the continental United States.

Whether it's for routine care of highly specialized treatment in orthopedics, stroke, ophthalmology, cancer, radiology, fertility, cardiology, genetic-related diseases, organ transplant, or many other areas of medicine, University of Utah Health Care offers the latest technology and advancements, including some services available nowhere else in the region.

As part of that system, University Hospitals & Clinics relies on more than 1,100 board-certified physicians who staff four University hospital (University Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Hospital, University Orthopaedic Center and the University Neuropsychiatric Institute); 10 community clinics; and several specialty centers including the John A. Moran Eye Center, the Cardiovascular Center, the Clinical Neurosciences Center and the Utah Diabetes Center.

University of Utah Health Care is consistently ranked among US News & World Report's Best Hospitals, and its academic partners at the University of Utah School of Medicine and Colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy, and Health are internationally regarded research and teaching institutions.