KU Hospital plans new building for doctors

The University of Kansas Hospital is scheduled to open a new six-story addition in 2011 that will house most of the doctors serving the hospital and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

The $73 million project will help patients because most clinics are now scattered across the campus, and it’s sometimes hard to find a specific doctor’s office, organizers said.

The building will house 211 practicing physicians and 219 residents from the medical center. The project was part of an affiliation agreement reached between KU Physicians Inc., KU Hospital and KU Medical Center in 2007.

According to the agreement, KU Medical Center will lease building space from KU Hospital under a 30-year lease for $3.125 million a year, though terms are still being worked out.

Teresa Neely, chief operating officer for KUPI, said plans for the building had been under development for several years.

“Everybody wanted it,” she said.

The new building will have a new parking garage and signs making it easier for patients to find their doctors’ offices, said Jon Jackson, KU Hospital senior vice president and chief administrative officer. The addition, which will be on the southeast corner of the hospital, also will have nearly all of the ambulatory care offices.

With expanded facilities, there is expected to be new opportunities for collaboration, as well as boosting recruitment of faculty and students, said Doug Girod, chairman of the otolaryngology department at KU Medical Center and its senior associate dean for clinical affairs.

“Obviously, we’re excited about it,” Girod said. “That is our classroom.”

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for July 22. Jackson said the building would be designed by Cannon Design, an international firm specializing in designing medical facilities.