Mayo Clinic is beginning construction on the first building within its $100 million three-building expansion project in October 2016 – and it’s setting its sights on more expansion in the future.
The CEO of Mayo Clinic’s Jacksonville campus, Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, said work on the 150,000-square-foot destination medical center will have just under a two-year timeline, with the projected completion being summer 2018.
The building has a number of unique features, including specialized care for patients with neurological problems, as well as patients who require neurosurgery, hematology and oncology. It will also have a chemotherapy section, which Farrugia says will be private and include an outdoor patio.
Farrugia said one of the most interesting features of the destination medical center will be its ability to extend up to 15 floors eventually, making more room for expansion down the road.
The second building in the expansion – a 6,400-square-foot building that will house a cyclotron, a machine that speeds up protons to create atoms with short-lived isotopes that can be used in molecular imaging for cancers that are hard to detect otherwise – will begin by the end of this year.
The technology in that building will be used for detecting the recurrence of patients who suffer from cancers like prostate cancer, which can’t be easily detected otherwise. It is also the first facility in the southeast to use Carbon-11 Choline, which can be injected into patients and used to break down the imaging at a cellular level.
“The side benefit is that you can get an answer much sooner if you do find cancer,” Farrugia said. “Therefore, you’re going to get a better outcome.”
The third building, the “net zero” lung restoration and transplantation center, will begin construction in either the first or second quarter of 2017, and is scheduled to be completed in quarter two of 2019 as long as everything goes according to plan.
That center will be primarily focused on lung restoration and will include a 25,000-square-foot incubator. Researchers will be working with lungs that would have usually been discarded in order to advance transplantation medicine.
Farrugia said the expansion is meant to build up Mayo Clinic’s medical tourism and attract a regional, national and international reach. He said there are plans to move on additional buildings, which may be announced by the end of the year.
“Certainly our plans are to continue to invest. We’ve been able to do some fairly significant recruitment, such as Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa [former neurosurgeon with Johns Hopkins Hospital], and some remarkable robotic technology. As part of that, we know we need to continue beyond the three buildings and continue to invest locally. We want to grow as a destination medical center, and we’re setting our sights on future buildings,” Farrugia said.
Farrugia said the potential for growing Mayo’s medical tourism footprint is huge, and that there are about 37 million people that live within an hour’s flight of Jacksonville who can not just visit Mayo, but other hospitals in Jacksonville. He said the aim is to make Jacksonville a “southeastern hub” for medical treatment.
“We’re already seeing, even in 2016, the number of international patients who come to see us continue to increase,” Farrugia said.
That’s also benefiting the local economy, with Mayo already having hired 500 employees locally and looking to hire 500 by the time the expansion is completed.
Farrugia said the other goal is to make sure Mayo is addressing needs that are there. Lung transplantation is a good example of that.
“The first patient we ever did a transplantation for came to see us a week ago to celebrate his 15th anniversary. He’s seen his children grow into adults, he’s enjoyed time with grandkids. What we want to do is be inspired by the human example. We know our mortality rate is half the expected rate. We know our survivor rate exceeds the expected rate,” Farrugia said. “We want to make sure we’re doing it not just because we can do it, but because we can change people’s lives.”
Source: Jacksonvillle Business Journal