Just when you think Penn’s wide-ranging campus couldn’t get any bigger and better — it does.
Penn Medicine, in an attempt to meet its ever-growing needs, is adding a number of new buildings and spaces to the Penn family: the Penn Medicine Washington Square building at Pennsylvania Hospital, Penn Medicine University City at 38th and Market streets, the Henry A. Jordan Medical Education Center on top of the Perelman Center and the trauma center and Pavilion for Advanced Care at Penn Presbyterian.
According to Vice Dean for Integrative Services for the Perelman School of Medicine Kevin Mahoney , the expansion is necessary in order to “prepare for a new marketplace.”
“One that is more value-driven ... that shifts from inpatient to outpatient care ... and that is becoming more competitive,” he said.
Penn also recently purchased Chester County Hospital on Sept. 1 and signed an affiliation with Lancaster General Hospital in an attempt to work more closely together.
While Penn Medicine Washington Square is completed and already open, Penn Medicine University City is set to open in August and the Pavilion for Advanced Care will open in January 2015.
“We’re trying to anchor service lines within the campuses and maintain connectedness,” Alyson Cole , Assistant Executive Director at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, said. “We are making sure we are able to spread the capacity to spread care for patients across the health system.”
Cole explained that Penn Presbyterian will be anchored by cardiovascular, orthopedic and trauma as well as ophthalmology. Pennsylvania Hospital will maintain its focus on orthopedics and women’s health services, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania will remain a center for numerous service lines.
“This is the first time in the state of Pennsylvania and as far as we can find anywhere in the country that a trauma program — which has been in place for over 27 years — will relocate with the same program but a different location,” Cole said in reference to moving the trauma center from HUP to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.
The funding for the expansion and building projects comes from University’s capital campaign — known as the Making History Campaign — which helped raise billions of dollars for specific projects.
“We raise $130 million or so a year which comes from grateful patients, foundations and people that are interested in what we’re doing,” Mahoney said. “They read about a scientist who is close to a breakthrough and want to be a part of it, so they send us money.”
Both Cole and Mahoney stressed that the expansion is part of a methodical approach meant to help the patient, further scientific inquiry and improve Penn as a whole.
12 of the 13 floors of PMUC will be dedicated to ambulatory care and the Pavilion for Advanced Care will have larger amenities, more comfortable waiting spaces and additional cafes for patients and families. The Medical Education center on top of Perelman will be more student-integrated and research-oriented and will provide both inpatient and outpatient care.
“We focus on quality of care we’re delivering, education we’re providing to medical students and increasing scientific discovery,” Mahoney said. “We’re meeting those missions, which is requiring us to grow our physical facilities.”
Mahoney explained that having professionals in different areas, such as a hematologist and a surgeon on the same floor, will also promote “coordinated continuity of care.”
Although the buildings are spread out, ease of communication is made possible by an electronic medical record system. Connectedness is also maintained by what Cole described as “tele-medicine.”
“It’s a 24/7 controlled closed circuit camera system that allows people to look in at patients that need additional monitoring,” Cole said. “If you need a consult or to find an expert person within the health system, you should be able to call upon them using tele-medicine.”
Senior Vice President of Penn Medicine Susan Phillips noted that the expansion and growth is a positive thing for multiple reasons.
“[It’s] the ability to see, treat and cure even more patients, to watch exceptional students become physicians and scientists and to know that the most exciting research will be happening at Penn Medicine,” she said.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the trauma center will be relocated from HUP to Penn Medicine University City. It will be moving to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. The previous version also incorrectly referred to Chester County Hospital as Cheshire County Hospital.