Emory Report
March 16, 2009
Volume 61, Number 23



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March 16
, 2009
Emory pauses remake of major health care facilities

By Sarah Goodwin

With the current national economic downturn impacting Emory on many fronts, Emory leaders recently announced temporary suspension of major design and construction for planned new Emory Healthcare inpatient and outpatient facilities, as well as health sciences research buildings.

Original plans called for a $1.5 billion investment at both the Clifton Road and Midtown campuses, including approximately $1.1 billion for hospitals and clinic facilities and the balance for added medical research capacity.

The temporary suspension is effective immediately and was announced by Fred Sanfilippo, executive vice president for health affairs; John T. Fox, CEO of Emory Healthcare; and Mike Mandl, executive vice president for finance and administration.

Emory will continue to pursue improvements within existing facilities and separate construction projects already under way, including expansion of the Rollins School of Public Health building, the University’s new admissions center and bookstore on Oxford Road and the third phase of its freshman housing complex near Eagle Row and Asbury Circle.

The Woodruff Health Sciences Center Program and Facilities Planning team has worked over the past two years to develop planning scenarios that have served as a model for the health sciences growth initiative. Emory will resume the overall facilities design and construction as resources and the economy allow, says Sanfilippo.

According to Fox, “Emory Healthcare’s finances remain very challenged but positive in a very competitive market. We are being prudent with this action to temporarily suspend new building because of these uncertain economic times. If you’re in a period of high uncertainty, you want maximum flexibility.”

Emory will continue to develop programs and achieve the goals of the planning team. In the short term, necessary renovations will move forward to keep clinical care facilities at Emory’s hospitals up to patient standards and able to meet capacity demands. The opening of Emory University Orthopaedic & Spine Hospital also will help with hospital capacity needs.

Sanfilippo reiterates that the priorities communicated last year are still in place today. “Our facilities and programming initiative was originally planned with the ability to stop and start in phases as needed. When the economy stabilizes and we have our well-studied decisions in hand, we will move forward on these initiatives again,” says Sanfilippo.