UK HealthCare to begin facility expansion

By Wes Yonts

UK HealthCare will soon receive final bids for the first phase of its new patient care facility, the UK HealthCare Committee announced in a status report Monday.

Phase 1a of the current plan will expand the emergency room and add 128 beds to the hospital. Also included are plans to incorporate art, music, spiritual services and landscaping and other services designed to reassure patients, family and faculty.

The status report listed UK’s health care achievements over the last five years, which include a faculty that has grown by more than 160 employees since 2004, net revenue that is expected to exceed $7 million this year and a much-expanded budget.

Moreover, UK HealthCare has created more than 2,000 jobs with an increase in the salary and benefits line of more than $200 million.

“In spite of these impressive achievements,” UK Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf said, “if UK wants a medical center of national prominence that will improve the health care of Kentucky and beyond while expanding the university and helping drive the economics of the Bluegrass and beyond, UKHealthCare must continue to aggressively grow and set ambitious targets for the next five years.”

In that vein, UK HealthCare is in the process of establishing a network of regional health providers across the state. This will expand local services and expertise while speeding up access to more advanced care available in Lexington. Keeping patients in their local communities for as long as possible is a fundamental commitment, Karpf said.

Other goals include aggressively recruiting more faculty, developing more mature relationships with other regional medical institutions, expanding the Kentucky Children’s Hospital, increasing clinical discharges to at least 36,000 patients by 2013 and completing Phase 1b of the construction project, which would add 480,000 square feet and allow for the evacuation of the current hospital.

“We need to be planning ahead strategically for the health care needs of the Commonwealth. We must focus on helping the university move forward and we must continue to energize the economy of the Bluegrass even as we look back at our achievements,” Karpf said.

From fiscal year 2004 to fiscal year 2013, the anticipated investment in the clinic enterprise will exceed $1.6 billion. This investment will be completely self-funded through operations and bond issues.