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UC Medical Center Celebrates Construction Milestone of New Emergency Department

Mar. 30, 2022

CINCINNATI - On Wednesday, UC Health celebrated a significant milestone in its $221 million Clifton Campus revitalization as the final structural beam was placed atop the new emergency department and surgical building at UC Medical Center.


The topping out ceremony was attended by UC Health and UC College of Medicine leaders and employees, as well as community and construction partners.

“Today, we celebrate the next chapter in a 200-year legacy of providing healthcare in this region,” said UC Health Interim President & CEO Rick Hinds. “This marks a new day for UC Health, as our physical facilities transform to reflect the world-class care that occurs within our walls.”

The project was announced in October 2019. Ground was broken on the structures in late summer 2021, and completion is expected in late summer 2023. The project will transform the delivery of emergency and surgical care at UC Medical Center, Greater Cincinnati’s only Level I trauma center for adults.

The project includes:

  • Expand the UC Medical Center Emergency Department (ED) onto a previously-vacant lot adjacent to the hospital. The 41,000 square-foot addition will significantly improve capacity and patient flow, including reconfigured access for patient arrivals via ambulance and private vehicles.
  • Renovate the existing 35,000 square-foot ED to provide additional emergency response ability and “surge” capacity for emergency and crisis situations.
  • New construction of three additional floors above the new emergency department to accommodate an observation unit, a flexible ICU and a new 28-bed unit.
  • New construction of a four-story surgical building that will expand surgical capacity at the hospital, adding eight new operating rooms as well as new waiting areas and pre-operative clinics.

In addition to patient care, the emergency medicine program at UC Health and the UC College of Medicine is also known nationally for research and teaching. The UC Department of Emergency Medicine is home to the first residency training program in the U.S., and the program celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020. The department attracts top medical students from across the country to train in Cincinnati, and its faculty are national leaders in clinical teaching and research.

“I’m proud to be part of the world-class emergency medicine program at UC Health and the University of Cincinnati. With these new facilities, you can expect the best of the best in not only our region, but in the entire country,” said Arthur M. Pancioli, MD, Richard C. Levy Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the UC College of Medicine and a UC Health physician.

The emergency department expansion and new surgical building are part of the $221 million Clifton Campus Revitalization project announced by UC Health in October 2019.

It includes numerous projects across UC Health’s Clifton Campus, which spans 14 acres in the heart of Cincinnati’s Uptown district. The campus includes 17 buildings that total 1.7 million gross square feet. All construction will occur within UC Health’s existing footprint, as the health system innovates to provide world-class care in a healing environment. It is the largest capital project in the health system’s history.

For the emergency department and surgical building, the global firm CannonDesign is overseeing project design and Cincinnati-based Messer Construction Co. is managing construction. Ohio-based HPlex Solutions serves as the owner’s representative to manage the project.

CannonDesign’s team includes several experienced engineering and planning firms: Heapy Engineering, THP and The Kleingers Group. The team also includes Blue Cottage of CannonDesign, a multi-dimensional health consultancy that helps systems align processes, strategies, operations and real estate. Messer’s team includes TriVersity Construction Group.