Bold Moves Build History
Mar 13, 2017 2:00 PM
Sixty years ago, a group of forward-thinking medical school leaders persuaded the University of Utah’s Board of Regents to take a leap of faith. The passionate team shared an unprecedented vision: to move the University of Utah Medical School out of Salt Lake County Hospital into a unified, modern building connected to a companion hospital.
In the words of leader Phillip B. Price, MD, who was Dean of the University Medical School in 1955, the new design would house “bold, imaginative spirits who will extend its services in breadth and depth.” His vision was to create a University Hospital and School of Medicine that “would facilitate carrying on the highest grade of scientific work, which by the quality and reputation of its clinical work would attract patients from the whole Mountain Region irrespective of their economic status.” That bold move made in 1955 enabled some of the world’s most significant advances in medicine and research, from developing the first biomedical informatics department in the nation to implanting the world’s first total artificial heart to identifying familial cancer genes and creating the renowned Utah Population Database—the world’s largest of its kind.
The original University of Utah School of Medicine opened in 1965.
Today we know that our academic medical center has far exceeded the dreams of Dr. Price and his team. We serve 10 percent of the continental U.S. with some of the highest quality care in the nation, attracting and training providers who are consistently ranked in the top 10 percent of patient satisfaction. We rank #1 in quality among academic medical centers in the nation—in company with revered institutions like NYU Langone (#2) and the Mayo Clinic (#3)—while providing some of the lowest cost health care per person in the country.
Continuing this progress means another leap into the unknown. Today, we’re treating diseases that weren’t even discovered 50 years ago and using medical technology that would’ve seemed like science fiction when Dr. Price made rounds. As we continue to invent the future of health care, we need modern facilities that foster innovation. Spaces that reflect our commitment to providing outstanding care to our community and state—and that physically manifest the promises of health care transformation. Because of the dedication and foresight of those who came before us, we are now uniquely poised to make that leap.
The medical campus of the future features a new Medical Education and Discovery building,
an Innovation Center and Rehabilitation Hospital.
In February 2017, we began preparing our campus for our new Ambulatory Care Center. This is just the first phase of a visionary plan that includes construction of a new Medical Education and Discovery building, an Innovation Center, Rehabilitation Hospital and a plaza where faculty, students and staff can mix, mingle and exchange new ideas to improve our institution and world. Together, these facilities will enable the future of our research, education and clinical care missions, with an emphasis on inter-professional education, big data, global health, medical innovation, precision medicine and health care transformation.
This conceptual rendering depicts how the Medical Education and Discovery building
intersects with the Innovation Center.
We know that our metamorphosis will not be without growing pains. We will experience temporary disruptions and shifts in our daily patterns as we navigate the stages of digging up, moving out, tearing down, and building up. But the outcome will far outweigh the inconveniences. And every step along the way will have lasting implications for generations to come as we improve patient health outcomes; reduce the costs of care; train the next generation of scientists, clinicians, and educators; and continue to pioneer future treatments, such as personalized genomic medicine and health for local and global populations.
Now it’s up to us. It’s our time to unite our strengths like never before. We have the unique opportunity to bring together our researchers, physicians, students and patients to evolve best practices in medical care and to expand the possibilities for scientific advancement and training a new generation.
Today, we aren’t tearing down the past. We’re building upon it, and we are using our collective wisdom to anticipate the future, to put into place our vision for the best physical environment that will engage and develop generations to come. Together, we can provide the best possible care to future Utahns, as we create a new model of health care for our nation, make discoveries that keep our children and grandchildren healthy, and develop future innovations and new health care professionals who will change the world.comments powered by Disqus