Several members of the state Board of Regents are raising concerns with an expansion project at University of Iowa Hospitals. Tuesday, the board unanimously approval for officials to start a renovation plan that includes a new children’s hospital.
But before the vote, Regent Michael Gartner wanted assurances that families utilizing a new children’s facility would have easy access."There’s enough trauma when you have a very ill child anyway…without the added parking problems, finding your way around and traffic problems," Gartner said. Gartner wanted assurances that expansion was the best option as opposed to establishing a second hospital site away from the current campus.
"This is the watershed moment right now, because we’re going to spend enormous amounts of money – adding to an enormously already congested area. I just want to make sure that’s the right thing to do," Gartner said. Hospital officials told the board some of the congestion will be alleviated by moving outpatient clinics away from the hospital to a second site.
The expansion project will cost between 700 and 850 million dollars. U-I Vice President for Medical Affairs Dr. Jean Robillard says rising patient admissions and more complex medical needs require the hospital campus expansion.