HCMC plans to expand its downtown campus

by Hennepin Healthcare

Hennepin County Medical Center will build a new 322,000 square foot clinic and specialty center that will expand its downtown Minneapolis campus to meet the growing need for outpatient care and specialty services.

The Hennepin County Board approved spending $10 million to acquire property near the main campus in downtown Minneapolis, directly across from the Emergency Department on 8th St., between Park and Chicago Aves. The total cost of the new building, including the land, and relocation of a helipad, will be approximately $191 million to be financed through the sale of bonds.

“First and foremost this new facility will improve the experience for our patients,” said Jon Pryor, MD, MBA, CEO of Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc. “Right now our primary care and specialty care clinics downtown are spread across nine buildings that we own or lease. Bringing them together into one building will make it more convenient for our patients and more efficient for our staff.”

The new building will include primary care clinics, specialty clinics and outpatient surgery facilities. It would open in 2016.

“This will complete the original master facility plan that the County Board approved in 2007 when we recognized the need to update medical center facilities,” said Mike Opat, chair of the Hennepin County Board and member of the healthcare system board of directors. “The rest of the original plan, including replacing all of the intensive care units in the hospital and opening the Whittier Clinic, has been completed so now it’s time to address the need for a new clinic and specialty center downtown.”

A recent study showed that the capacity of the current facilities downtown will be maxed out by 2017. The Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc. Board of Directors assessed numerous options for configuring the campus and reviewed a number of sites for the new building.

“This will be a centerpiece of our downtown campus and, more importantly, enable us to provide quality care to our current and expanding patient base efficiently and effectively,” said Sharon Sayles Belton, chair of the Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc. board of directors. “HCMC has been a good neighbor, major employer, and community partner in the Elliot Park neighborhood for more than 40 years and with this project we will participate in the continued transformation of the east side of downtown Minneapolis.”

The new clinic and specialty center, and the eventual reconfiguration of space in the current buildings after the clinics are relocated, positions HCMC to meet the healthcare needs of the growing downtown residential population and employee base, as well as patients from across the region that use HCMC for specialty surgical services. The new building would be only blocks away from the Wells Fargo office and residential development that will break ground in May and the new Vikings stadium that will open in 2016.

“Our hospital and clinic system today has all of the services and specialties to provide care to people who live and work downtown, but we lack the convenience of having that care centralized and accessible for people who need a quick visit to their doctor, with close parking and skyway access,” said Scott Wordelman, Vice President of Ambulatory Care. “Our specialty services in the new building will be convenient if you are coming from outside of downtown, and will feature the kind of care, access, and amenities that will make it an exceptional experience for our patients. With the recent growth of our neighborhood clinic system in Minneapolis and suburban Hennepin County, we are seeing more patients come downtown for specialty care and this new facility will serve them well.”

The newest buildings on the HCMC campus were built in the mid-1970s and connected to the Metropolitan Medical Center (MMC) by a building that spanned Chicago Avenue. When MMC closed in 1991, the county purchased those buildings and today HCMC clinics, inpatient units, and offices occupy all of the buildings that make up the medical center complex.

HCMC is also a major regional Level l Trauma Center and, as part of the building project, a helipad that is currently on top of the parking ramp on 6th Street and Park Avenue will be moved one block to the east onto the roof of the building that houses the operating rooms and Emergency Department. This will eliminate the need to transport the patient by ambulance from the parking ramp to the main hospital entrance.

Hennepin County Medical Center is a nationally recognized Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center with the largest emergency department in Minnesota. The comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital includes a 455-bed acute care hospital and primary care and specialty clinics located in downtown Minneapolis and St. Anthony, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Golden Valley, and Richfield; and in Minneapolis in the Whittier Neighborhood and on East Lake Street. HCMC also has a retail clinic in Bloomington, an employee clinic in the Hennepin County Government Center, and a Neurology and Specialty Clinic in Chaska.

New Clinic Building Site Aerial