Editor’s note: A previous version of this story misidentified the project’s general contractor. It is Rudolph Libbe Inc.
ProMedica and the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences will soon open a joint neurosciences center on the campus of ProMedica Toledo Hospital, marking the most significant physical manifestation of the two entities’ 50-year academic affiliation to date.
The 122,000-square-foot building at 2130 W. Central Ave. will have clinical, research, and academic services dedicated to a variety of neurological specialties. The center will bring under the same roof a number of subspecialists from both ProMedica and UT’s college, the former Medical College of Ohio, including those with expertise in stroke care, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, pediatric neurology, sleep disorders, and dementia.
“It really represents our combined commitment to neurological care for patients in our region,” said Darrin Arquette, senior vice president for ProMedica’s neurosciences, heart, and vascular institutes. It is expected to open to patients in early April.
About 17 physicians from both institutions will be based at the center, as will five neurosurgeons. Officials hope to recruit more physicians to bring that number closer to 40, Mr. Arquette said. About 50,000 patients are expected per year, and the center will employ about 425 staff members.
The building itself was designed with patients in mind, officials said, featuring ample space for those in wheelchairs or with other ambulatory concerns and easy access from the parking lot. The facade, with a large silver fin over the entrance, provides a striking design reflective of the brainy work going on inside, Mr. Arquette said.
“We wanted the outside of the building to inspire creativity and curiosity; this is neurosciences,” he said. Construction under Rudolph Libbe Inc. began in November.
Patients will be able to see their doctors there, as well as undergo MRIs, X-rays, and other diagnostic testing.
“All those will be here in this building in addition to the therapies like physical, speech, [and] occupational therapy,” said Dr. Gretchen Tietjen, chair of the neurology department at UT’s medical college and director of the new center. “We’re very excited to have everybody in one building, one place.”
Medical students and residents will also find a home there. UT’s 16 neurology residents will see patients as part of their training, as will about 175 medical students who will spend part of their time in the clinics for neurology rotations. The center has space dedicated for research to study diseases such as Parkinson’s, Dr. Tietjen said.
In addition to comprehensive patient care, Mr. Arquette said the center is another way to recruit top talent and entice them to stay in the Toledo area and build a solid supply of medical professionals for years to come, particularly in neurological subspecialties.
In August, 2015, ProMedica and UT’s medical college signed a five-decade affiliation linking the two institutions with academics among the primary goals. As part of the agreement, ProMedica agreed to provide the medical college with $250 million for construction and upgrades at ProMedica sites and UT's Health Science Campus off Arlington Avenue.
“One of the main pillars of the academic affiliation is to be able to train students, locate them here, and have them decide this is where they want to spend the rest of their lives,” Mr. Arquette said.
The collaboration between ProMedica and UT provides that, Dr. Tietjen said.
“In order to attract physicians like that, they needed to have a big hospital system,” she said. “ProMedica with their 13 hospitals and UT ... that gave them enough of a patient base to keep their skills up and be busy.
“For our residents and students, we want them to be able to see as many different kinds of cases as they can, really complicated cases,” she said. “When you’ve seen it all, you feel more comfortable with it, and that’s what training is all about.”
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