MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Hennepin County Medical Center broke ground on its BWBR-designed ambulatory clinic building Thursday, marking the biggest expansion in history for Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota’s largest teaching hospital.
At the same time, the safety-net hospital also celebrated the inauguration of its second helistop located on top of the building housing the HCMC emergency department, operating rooms, and intensive care units, directly across the street from where the ambulatory outpatient specialty center will stand.
The $220.8-million, 377,000-square-foot ambulatory clinic building will consolidate over 40 primary and specialty clinics currently spread across nine buildings. An HCMC-commissioned study determined these buildings would reach maximum occupancy in a few years, leading to the decision to build the ASOC, according to Scott Wordelman, vice president of ambulatory delivery and support services at HCMC.
HCMC’s reorganization of nearly two million square feet will offer centralized and accessible care for people who need convenient access to a doctor, same-day surgery or cancer treatment in a growing residential population in downtown Minneapolis. The BWBR-designed AOSC will be housed next door to Minnesota’s first Level I Trauma Center, Minnesota’s largest emergency department and busiest trauma center.
Immediately following the clinic building groundbreaking, HCMC and guests welcomed the arrival of a Life Link III helicopter carrying 6-year-old Reagan Lennes and her mother Lisa who officially opened the new helistop. Reagan had flown to the Level I Pediatric Trauma Center just last year after an elevator accident from her hometown in Alexandria, Minnesota, but the flight on Thursday was celebratory as Reagan has made a remarkable recovery with the support of HCMC staff.
The new helistop doubles the capacity to receive trauma and critical care patients by air and reduces transport time into the hospital. The helipad is heated to melt snow and ice making it safer for staff and patients. The existing helistop sits atop a parking ramp on 6th Street and Park Ave., and will remain available if needed.
The AOSC building will include six floors of clinics and services, two levels of underground pay parking with 221-stalls for patients and family. The building will house primary, specialty care and physical and occupational therapy, as well as a same day surgery center with five operating rooms and four GI/endoscopy rooms. The clinic will also be home to a cancer center with radiation therapy, outpatient imaging center, women’s imaging and skyway and tunnel connections to the rest of the HCMC campus.
In addition to HCMC staff and BWBR, the ceremony included the Hennepin County Board under whom the hospital operates; Mortenson Construction, contractor for the clinic building; Elliot Park Neighborhood, Inc. and members from the Minneapolis Police Department and the local neighborhood community.
The center is scheduled to open in January 2018.