Umbrellas were issued in anticipation of rain at Thursday morning’s groundbreaking for the Creighton University Medical Center’s University Campus building at 24th and Cuming streets.
But as sunshine prevailed long enough for a few ceremonial shovelfuls of dirt to be turned at the site, the umbrellas instead served as apt metaphors for Creighton’s vision for the 90,000-square foot facility, slated for completion next summer and being touted as a revolution in healthcare.
“The umbrella is a symbol of who we are and how we care for this community,” said Tony Hatcher, D.O., medical director of strategy and growth for CHI Health. “With care integrated among all the partners in this neighborhood, we are going to deliver care in a different way and improve the great work we already do.”
The University Campus facility will broaden the Creighton Medical Center’s offerings and deepen educational opportunities for Creighton medical students, officials with the Creighton School of Medicine said.
With family medicine, an imaging center, pediatrics, women’s health services, psychiatry and physical therapy, along with an emergency room and a 24-hour pharmacy, the new center will be focused on a team approach to healthcare and will also strengthen ties to the already extant partnerships Creighton has with its community healthcare partners.
“Everyone works hard to work together,” said Dale Davenport, associate dean of administration for the School of Medicine. “This will help us work together better. It’s a different concept but it’s a concept that will further connect us with the tremendous resources we have in this community and improve upon the already high level of care we provide.”
Dean of the Creighton School of Medicine Robert “Bo” Dunlay, M.D., said breaking ground on the new facility Thursday signaled “one of the best days we’ve ever had” at Creighton.
“At a Jesuit institution, the mission is to put resources where they can do the greatest good for the greatest number of people in need,” Dunlay said. “The whole goal is to create a different platform for providing care and this is going to be a great help to us, both in providing that care and in educating students.”
Aiming at preventive medicine, family medicine, and a general roundtable approach to healthcare, Dunlay and Davenport both said the University Campus facility, with its interdisciplinary approach and its commitments from community partners, like the Charles Drew Health Center and Catholic Charities, will become a hub for service and education.
“We were running a large, complex academic medical center and we needed a way to better coordinate services for the people we help,” Davenport said. “We needed a simpler way to connect people to healthcare. And we’ll be training students to deliver this kind of healthcare, a community-based, team-based approach, well into the future.”