By Kevin Collison
The building boom at what’s now being branded the “UMKC Health Sciences District” aka Hospital Hill is continuing with the kickoff of the $70 million University Health 2 project.
The 80,000 square-foot facility will accommodate women’s care and primary care services currently in Truman Medical Center, freeing hospital space to expand its mother-baby unit and open more private patient rooms.
It also will have a full-service Walgreens and a Roasterie coffee shop on its ground level.
University Health is affiliated with Truman Medical Center (TMC), providing outpatient services for the hospital and staffed by its physicians. The new project comes just three years after the completion of the $45 million University Health 1 building.
Charlie Shields, president and CEO of Truman, told the audience at the groundbreaking last week the new building is being driven by the demand at TMC.
“We think it looks more like a performing arts center than a medical clinic,” he said.
Shields added the TMC charitable foundation is launching a capital campaign to create a new, state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Truman.
UMKC Chancellor Dr. Chandra Mauli Agrawal said the district, which includes his university’s Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Dentistry, draws an estimated 13,000 employees, students and faculty.
TMC is the teaching hospital for UMKC healthcare students.
Agrawal referred to the area as the UMKC Health Sciences District, saying the new term is part of an effort to promote greater collaboration between its major healthcare facilities. In addition to TMC and the UMKC schools, the district includes Children’s Mercy Hospital and the Kansas City Health Department and
The University Health 2 project at 22nd and Charlotte is located only a block away from the $150 million, nine-story Children’s Mercy research tower now under construction. Both facilities are expected to be completed in early 2020.
The Hospital Hill area also is attracting substantial investments on the adjoining stretch of Troost Avenue including new UMKC student housing, an apartment development and a hotel.
University Health is downtown’s only outpatient surgical center. It also has clinics for dermatology, orthopedics and a Hernia Center.
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