The Health Science Center’s request to proceed with the financing and construction of a state-of-the-art ambulatory clinic was approved last week by The University of Texas System Board of Regents. The 250,000-square-foot Medical Arts and Research Center (MARC) is one of the Health Science Center’s latest initiatives to advance clinical medical education and care.
“As medicine moves toward ambulatory care, outpatient surgery and out-of-hospital services, it’s important to ensure that our students receive this exposure and experience as well, since that’s the world in which they will practice,” said Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., Health Science Center president.
Eight clinics currently located in the South Texas Medical Center in leased space will be consolidated, updated and housed in the MARC. Only clinics located in the South Texas Medical Center area will be moved to the new building. This will also allow the strengthening of other already-strong Health Science Center clinics throughout the community, Dr. Cigarroa said.
“We are working with University Health System to strengthen our existing clinics at the University Health Center Downtown, the Texas Diabetes Institute and other locations throughout the city,” Dr. Cigarroa said.
The MARC will serve the South Texas area by providing numerous specialists and offering programs that are being developed in conjunction with the University Health System, which includes the Health Science Center’s primary teaching hospital.
“This new building will allow us to improve our services in an ambulatory setting so patients can receive quality and efficient care in one location,” Dr. Cigarroa said.
Before the approval of the MARC, the Health Science Center was the only U.T. health campus without an ambulatory clinic.
In addition to the facility housing clinics, 60,000 square feet of academic faculty office space will be available, said Thomas Mayes, M.D., M.B.A., interim dean of the Medical School.
The new building will cost approximately $95 million and is expected to be completed in 2009. It will be housed in the heart of the South Texas Medical Center, across the street from the Health Science Center’s Children’s Cancer Research Institute.
“This is one of the most important initiatives the Health Science Center has undertaken,” Dr. Cigarroa said. “It is a project that is in alignment with our Compact, with our strategic plans and with our long-range goals for the continued success of this academic health center. It will be a state-of-the-art facility and it will say ‘first-class medicine’ in every aspect.”