Memorial Hermann broke ground Wednesday, May 27 on the $650 million expansion and renovation of its Texas Medical Center (TMC) Campus. As the Houston region's only full-service health system, this expansion will enable Memorial Hermann to stay ahead of the fast-growing advances in medicine, keep pace with the extraordinary growth of the city and, most importantly, meet the health needs of the community for years to come.
Local dignitaries, community leaders, affiliated UTHealth physicians and Memorial Hermann leadership all gathered Wednesday night to celebrate the official groundbreaking event. In attendance were: Rep. Al Green; President and CEO of the Texas Medical Center, Dr. Robert Robbins; Houston City Council Members Jack Christie and Ellen Cohen; numerous staff representatives of local, state and federal officials; Dr. Giuseppe Colasurdo, President of UTHealth and Dean of UTHealth Medical School; Memorial Hermann Health System Board Chairman Will Williams and several other Memorial Hermann System and Foundation board members; and key representatives of Memorial Hermann leadership including President and CEO Dan Wolterman.
"I am proud to stand with the leadership of Memorial Hermann as they begin the $650 million expansion and renovation of the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center Campus," said Rep. Green. "For nearly a century, Memorial Hermann-TMC has diligently served the community and remained a leader in the fields of medical technology, research and innovation. With the completion of this additional 1.34 million square feet, Memorial Hermann-TMC will be able to be better address the growing healthcare needs of the Greater Houston Metropolitan Region as well as continue to provide access to quality health care for countless individuals."
At the event, Rep. Green presented Memorial Hermann-TMC with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition that saluted the hospital's "continued commitment to providing the latest medical innovations and procedures for treating patients as well as your dedication to exceptional patient care."
The Breaking New Ground expansion and renovation project began in fall 2014 and is expected to be completed in 2019. Highlighting the project will be the construction of a new patient care building and an additional building that will include parking and infrastructure capabilities to support the new growth.
"With this renovation and expansion project, we are ensuring that the communities we serve have access to a critical care infrastructure that Memorial Hermann uniquely provides," said Wolterman. "We are taking a forward-looking approach to establishing this infrastructure that will effectively meet the health needs of future generations."
Founded in 1925 as the first hospital in the now world-renowned Texas Medical Center, the original facility was only 200,000 square feet. Today, Memorial Hermann's flagship hospital encompasses more than 2.5 million square feet. With this expansion, the Campus will grow to 3.84 million square feet.
"For nearly a century, our staff and affiliated physicians have set new standards of care in Texas and the nation through advances in medicine and surgery," said Craig Cordola, Regional President for Memorial Hermann. "This project will add to our legacy by supporting our ongoing drive to be a leader in the industry while delivering the highest-quality and safest healthcare to our community for many decades to come."
The Memorial Hermann Health System board unanimously approved the Breaking New Ground expansion in March 2014, which builds upon the tremendous growth at Memorial Hermann-TMC over the last year. The expansion will also provide: 160 additional beds (plus 71 replacement beds); 24 operating rooms (19 replacement and five new); 16 additional emergency room bays; 750 new parking spaces; and a 335-seat café.
The 15-story patient care tower will also house the Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute and Memorial Hermann Life Flight®, including the John S. Dunn Helistop and the dispatch center, as well as the John S. Dunn Burn Center – the only comprehensive burn center in Houston verified by the American Burn Association – which will expand to 20 beds. In addition, seven shelled floors and six shelled operating rooms will be constructed to accommodate future growth with the potential of adding 264 beds.
Memorial Hermann is investing significant resources into this expansion and renovation project but is also seeking the partnership of the philanthropic community to assist in these efforts. Associated with Breaking New Ground is a $200 million philanthropic campaign to support this effort. The campaign includes $150 million for renovation and expansion, with the additional $50 million earmarked for programmatic needs associated with the Texas Trauma Institute.
Speaking at the groundbreaking, Councilwoman Cohen – whose district includes a portion of the Texas Medical Center – noted that "it takes a monumental amount of resources, both private and public, to ensure our community has the level of care necessary for those who need it." She added that "this investment and expansion by Memorial Hermann will help support the growth necessary to best serve the Southeast Texas region and I'm grateful for their commitment to our community."
Part of the Memorial Hermann Health System, Memorial Hermann-TMC is one of few hospitals in the country to provide a full continuum of expert critical care services for both adults and children. Internationally recognized for treating the highest-acuity patients, Memorial Hermann-TMC is home to Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital and the most advanced and comprehensive intensive care units (ICUs) in the Greater Houston region. Patients recovering from a critical illness or injury may also benefit from one of the country's leading rehabilitation hospitals – TIRR Memorial Hermann. The ability to provide this full spectrum of care for the critically ill or injured is a distinguishing feature that sets Memorial Hermann-TMC apart from other providers.