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M. D. Anderson to Expand 12-Story Alkek Hospital


The University of Texas System Board of Regents today approved expansion plans for The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center to add nine floors atop its 12-story Albert B. and Margaret M. Alkek Hospital.

With the construction of the eight new inpatient floors, M. D. Anderson will add space to accommodate more than 300 additional inpatient and Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) patient beds, pharmacy facilities and nursing pods. In addition, a mechanical floor will be built and renovations will be made to the top floor of the present hospital and areas in another adjacent building.

As well as approving plans for the expansion, the Board of Regents approved the project funding. The expansion is expected to cost about $293 million with $224 million coming from revenue bonds and the remaining $69 million from local hospital revenues.

Currently, the Alkek Hospital is 755,764 total square feet with the expansion adding 478,000 square feet to the tower. Another 200,000 square feet of space and infrastructure will be renovated and upgraded. When the expansion and renovation are completed, M. D. Anderson will house 867 beds that will meet projected inpatient growth through 2020.

Currently, M. D. Anderson has 513 beds with 261 inpatient and ICU beds in Alkek Hospital and 252 inpatient beds in the Lutheran Pavilion, an adjacent patient care facility.

According to Thomas W. Burke, M.D., executive vice president and physician in chief, the tower addition addresses a steadily increasing patient demand for clinical services.

In the last nine years, the total number of patients served has soared 75% with 79,496 patients coming to M. D. Anderson in 2006 and 45,465 in 1997. In just the last five years, the total number of patients treated at M. D. Anderson has grown has grown 37%.

Hospital admissions increased 14% in five years, from 18,604 admissions in 2001 to 21,221 in 2006. The number of hospital patient days increased 15%, from 135,298 days in 2001 to 155,551 days in 2006. The number of surgery hours has increased 21%from 42,128 hours in 2001 to 50,917 hours in 2006.

“Since 2001, M. D. Anderson has balanced unprecedented growth with limited space to increase the number of patient beds and operating suite,” said Burke. “The expansion of Alkek Hospital and the adjoining areas will accommodate the additional patient demand we project for the coming decades.”

Under the plan the Regents approved today, four patient floors will be constructed initially with additional space for pharmacy, nursing support and PACU. The construction of the first four floors of the expansion is expected to begin later this year; completion is scheduled for 2013.

The other four inpatient floors will be built as shell space along with a mechanical floor. Two of the four floors are expected to be built out in 2014, while the remaining two floors are projected to be completed in 2016.

Renovations will be done on the current top floor of Alkek to prepare the building for expansion and to reinforce the infrastructure of the floor’s protected environment, a unit with special air filtering systems for patients with compromised immune systems who are undergoing bone marrow and stem cell transplants. In addition, two floors of the adjacent Lutheran Pavilion will be vacated to provide horizontal expansion for surgery and diagnostic imaging

“The Alkek expansion is vital to M. D. Anderson’s vision of delivering the highest quality and safest care for our patients. With the additional beds, operating rooms and recovery areas, we can accommodate a much larger number of patients, which contribute to our mission to eradicate cancer,” said Burke.

Opened in 1999 at the corner of Bertner and Bates streets, the Alkek Hospital currently houses 261 inpatient beds as well as operating rooms, radiation treatment facilities, the medical and surgical intensive care units, diagnostic imaging services and the Children’s Cancer Hospital’s inpatient unit. The hospital is named for the late Houston oilman and philanthropist Albert B. Alkek, who, along with his late wife, Margaret, gave M. D. Anderson $30 million.

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center was ranked the top cancer hospital in the nation last month in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals survey. It was the fifth time in eight years that M. D. Anderson was ranked number one by the national survey. With more than 16,000 faculty and staff and 1,600 volunteers working in more than 25 buildings in Houston and Central Texas, M. D. Anderson is one of the largest cancer centers in the world.


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