You may have heard, there’s this new hospital building opening this spring?
On the UConn Health campus, we’re referring to it as the “University Tower,” and the existing hospital tower as the “Connecticut Tower.” The name “UConn John Dempsey Hospital” will apply collectively to both.
Broadcast messages have been keeping score with a daily countdown of the days until the big move, which starts Friday, April 29. We start moving patients in the wee hours the next morning, and plan to be a fully functional hospital tower open for business by Monday, May 2. A family lounge will be set up in Onyiuke Dining Room for visitors, and we will have a patient center hotline for those with questions about their loved ones during the move.
In the coming weeks, you will see and hear more about the new tower and what makes its opening such an important milestone in the evolution of Bioscience Connecticut and the history, and future, of UConn Health.
The operating rooms in the new tower will include four general surgery rooms, two 800-square-foot spine rooms, one of them featuring the Mazor Robot, as well as ORs dedicated to total joint procedures, neurosurgery, and heart surgery. The suites feature individual temperature controls and will be outfitted with Black Diamond Video, which allows videoconferencing during a case, such as between surgeon and pathologist, or to pull up radiology images during a surgery. A giant hybrid OR is scheduled to open in the fall.
The UConn Health Emergency Department will expand to 42 patient rooms and be housed in the new tower. It will have dedicated CT scan and digital imaging capabilities, a decontamination room, a resuscitation room, and a separate ambulance entrance.
Privacy and Safety
All 169 of the new tower’s inpatient beds will be in single-occupancy rooms to maximize patient privacy. When the transition is complete UConn Health John Dempsey Hospital’s patient towers will combine to have 234 licensed beds, all in single-occupancy rooms.
These patient rooms are larger, allowing more room to maneuver safely. Each will have a patient recliner as well as a bed. Each patient will have his or her own bathroom, which exceeds modern accessibility standards.
Perhaps the greatest advance in patient safety in the new tower will be the 80 ceiling lifts that will be in place, which offer 360-degree coverage around the patient bed, enabling safe transfer of patients while minimizing fall risk as well as injury risk to clinical staff
The new hospital tower will have its own Starbucks, starting this fall. The chapel and gift shop will relocate from their current location in the lobby of the main building.
The addition of the new hospital tower is the latest in an ongoing series of capital improvements that strengthen UConn Health, thereby making it more attractive to top medical researchers and clinicians, as well as students, and more competitive in securing NIH, foundation, and other funding for critical research that will improve treatments and outcomes. The partnership with the Jackson Laboratory stands to further multiply this, collectively moving toward realization of the vision of Bioscience Connecticut to grow the state’s strength in biomedical research and health care.
When Gov. Dannel P. Malloy introduced Bioscience Connecticut in 2011, the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis at UConn projected that Bioscience Connecticut would lead to the creation of 16,400 new permanent jobs, a $4.6 billion increase in state personal income, and $823 million in net new revenue to the state over the 25-year period beginning with construction.
In the weeks leading up to the move there will be opportunities for staff and the rest of the community to tour the new tower. Stay tuned to the PULSE, check your broadcast messages, and watch for signs and banners for the latest information.