Hennepin County Medical Center Announces Expansion Plans

MINNEAPOLIS — The Hennepin County Medical Center will build a 322,000-square-foot expansion hospital officials announced this week. The $191 million expansion to the downtown Minneapolis health care campus will include primary care clinics, specialty clinics and outpatient surgery facilities.

“This will complete the original master facility plan that the County Board approved in 2007 when we recognized the need to update medical center facilities,” said Mike Opat, chair of the Hennepin County Board and member of the health care system’s board of directors, in a statement. “The rest of the original plan, including replacing all of the intensive care units in the hospital and opening the Whittier Clinic, has been completed. Now it’s time to address the need for a new clinic and specialty center downtown.”

The plans were prompted by a recent study that suggested the current medical facilities would not be able to support the growing community by 2017. The newest buildings currently at the medical center were in built in the 1970s. The aging buildings are also spread across nine different buildings. The new expansion will unify services to benefit both patients and medical staff.

“This will be a centerpiece of our downtown campus and, more importantly, enable us to provide quality care to our current and expanding patient base efficiently and effectively,” said Sharon Sayles Belton, chair of the Hennepin Healthcare System’s board of directors, in a statement. “HCMC has been a good neighbor, major employer, and community partner in the Elliot Park neighborhood for more than 40 years and with this project we will participate in the continued transformation of the east side of downtown Minneapolis.”

The new building will be in close proximity to the Wells Fargo office and residential development that will break ground in May and the new Vikings stadium that will open in 2016. The expansion is set to better accommodate the burgeoning downtown.

“Our hospital and clinic system today has all of the services and specialties to provide care to people who live and work downtown, but we lack the convenience of having that care centralized and accessible for people who need a quick visit to their doctor, with close parking and skyway access,” said Scott Wordelman, vice president of ambulatory care, in a statement. “Our specialty services in the new building will be convenient if you are coming from outside of downtown, and will feature the kind of care, access, and amenities that will make it an exceptional experience for our patients. With the recent growth of our neighborhood clinic system in Minneapolis and suburban Hennepin County, we are seeing more patients come downtown for specialty care and this new facility will serve them well.”

The project is expected to open in 2016.