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Innovation and patient care drive $111 million construction project at University of Minnesota Medical Center

Construction at University of Minnesota Medical Center includes an expanded emergency department, state-of-the-art operating rooms, a world-class intraoperative MRI suite and improvements to patient rooms.
Phased renovations at University of Minnesota Medical Center began in 2018 and will extend through late 2020.

A multi-year renovation project at University of Minnesota Medical Center will expand the emergency department, add new state-of-the-art operating rooms and improve the patient experience at the medical center.

Construction at the medical center, located on the East and West Banks of the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis, began in early summer 2018 and extends into late 2020. Work is being conducted in phases to minimize the disruption to patients and families visiting the medical center. All departments will remain open throughout the duration of construction.

“We’re doing all we can so patients don’t feel the stress of construction, but we understand it is disruptive. If patients or staff raise concerns, we’ll partner with construction teams to ensure construction does not impact patient healing,” said Chief Nurse Executive Deb Cathcart.

Scroll down for the latest construction updates for University of Minnesota Medical Center.

"University of Minnesota Medical Center serves thousands of patients every year, with medical needs ranging from relatively simple to very complex,” said University of Minnesota Health Co-President John Doherty. “These improvements will help us accommodate our growing patient population and better position the medical center to be a leader in healthcare innovation and delivery.”

The $111 million project will include:

  • A 7,000-square-foot, two-story addition to the medical center’s East Bank hospital. The expansion will house a larger emergency department on the ground level and a neurosurgical suite on the upper level. The addition, which will be located along Harvard Street, includes an emergency department entrance with a larger waiting area, updated exam rooms and a dedicated observation unit.
  • The development of state-of-the-art neurosurgical operating rooms located on the third floor of the East Bank hospital. The suite of new operating rooms will be equipped with a single intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (IMRI) unit, which can be rotated between the rooms.
  • Replacement of the current open-air ambulance bay with a new two-story structure that will feature four indoor ambulance bays on the ground level with state-of-the-art operating rooms located on the upper level.
  • Reconstruction of the East Bank hospital’s main entrance along Harvard Street and complete reconfiguration and refresh of the main lobby located inside the entrance.
  • Relocation of the East Bank hospital’s pharmacy, gift shop and coffee shop.
  • On the West Bank of the medical center campus: Construction of a new operating room, renovation of an existing OR, and updates to the patient unit on the fifth floor of the East Building.

Though there are many other facility updates taking place at the medical center, the reconstruction of the emergency department and the build out of the operating and procedure rooms including a neurosurgical IMRI suite are the most significant components of the project, said Mary Jo Swanson, the Service Line Executive for Heart, Vascular and Solid Organ Transplant services.

“When finished, the new neurosurgical IMRI operating suite will be one of the most advanced in the world,” Swanson said. “Intraoperative MRI allows us to use real-time imaging to precisely guide complex procedures, such as brain tumor removals.”

The medical center will not be adding any beds as a result of the project, Doherty noted. However, the number of single-bed rooms will increase, which will improve the patient experience.

Getting it Right

As we look to improve the patient experience and drive efficiencies in workflow to achieve excellence in patient care and safety, it is important we get it right,” Cathcart said. “We have inter-professional teams involved in the design of the area and we continue to engage our staff for feedback as the project progresses.”

Mockup rooms have been created to enable the construction and design teams to get feedback directly from frontline team members about the design and development of each type of room undergoing renovation.

Construction Update 8/08/2019

  • New indoor ambulance bay opening
    A new indoor ambulance bay is set to open this summer at University of Minnesota Medical Center. The new ambulance garage—which replaces a smaller outdoor ambulance bay—will allow medical staff and EMS teams to better serve the community in a climate-controlled environment. “We are thrilled to have an enclosed heated garage that will be equipped to improve our capabilities and to provide a safer and more private environment for patients being transported to and from the hospital, especially during inclement weather,” said Emergency Medicine Physician Gregory Loppnow, MD.

  • August launch for new patient pharmacy
    The new pharmacy, located adjacent to the East Bank Hospital’s main floor lobby, will be more accessible and for patients and visitors. Patients will also have the option to receive alerts when a prescription is ready for pickup. The pharmacy recently opened on Aug. 4. “We look forward to making the pharmacy experience as convenient as possible for patients with the new, more visible location and patient alerts,” said Matt Schille, the Fairview Pharmacy Services site manager.

  • Harvard Street Closure Aug. 16 - 19
    From 5 a.m. on Aug. 16 until 6 a.m. on Aug. 19, Harvard Street SE will be closed between Delaware Street SE and the East Bank Hospital entrance. During the closure, patients and visitors can access the front entrance of the hospital by driving north on Southeast Harvard street from East River Parkway. 

Keep an eye on our progress: Watch our construction camera online for a live view of what's happening at the construction site