State of the Art Medical Centers

Cutting-Edge Care and Career Opportunities at University Medical Centers

Many people who are interested in careers in health-related fields base their excitement in part on the fact that medical technologies and facilities are quickly evolving. Having a career in health care may make it possible to gain exposure to cutting-edge medical science and new ways of treating patients with a variety of medical conditions. University health centers may be some of the best places to work for those interested in state-of-the-art patient care including cancer treatment, pediatrics, surgery, emergency room treatment and more.

Several health care centers at universities around the country are breaking ground or being renovated or expanded, including the seven featured below. These facilities are poised to offer advanced, leading-edge care to patients and inspiring health care career opportunities to health care professionals.

Wexner Medical Center (The Ohio State University)

Photos Courtesy of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

This billion-dollar renovation is scheduled for completion in December 2014. The newly renovated building will house the new Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Additionally, a new critical care center is planned so that ICU, burn and surgery patients can be more effectively served. The facility will also offer integrated spaces for research, education and patient care.

The James Cancer Hospital will provide 306 inpatient beds including a 24-bed bone marrow transplant unit. The 1.1 million square feet of space also houses 14 operating rooms and 6 interventional radiology suites. It is anticipated that these accommodations will enable Wexner Medical center to serve 310,000 additional patients annually. The planned additions should expand more than just the number of patients being served. From 2000-2013 the Wexner Medical Center grew from 9,000 employees to over 18,000, and the renovation should enable the facility to employ an additional 6,000 people.

Wexner Medical Center is committed to high-quality, patient-centric, personalized medicine, as evidenced by the fact that there are currently over 800 residents and fellows participating in over 65 accredited graduate and residency programs. There are also more than 20 research centers and institutes and 25 research laboratories.

This comes from Dr. Michael Caligiuri, CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and Director of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center:

Dr Caligiuri

"The new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute will be a transformational facility that will foster collaboration and integration of cancer research and clinical care. Research and education spaces will be located on every inpatient floor, improving the flow of scientific findings from the lab to the patient’s bedside including discovering the best, most targeted treatments for each patient’s cancer based on the genetic makeup of the tumor."

This comes from Dr. David Schuller, Vice President of Wexner Medical Center Expansion and Outreach:

Dr Schuller David

"This $1.1 billion Expansion Project is the largest ever undertaken in the 144 year history of the University and has already paid dividends by attracting top cancer clinicians and researchers to the Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. Whereas the cancer program usually recruits an average of ten clinicians and/or researchers annually, two years ago that number rose to 43 and last year 41 outstanding people were recruited. People want to be a part of this dynamic program with a unique new cancer hospital that maximally integrates research labs and education spaces within patient care areas."

Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital (Penn State Hershey)

Photos Courtesy of Penn State Hershey Medical Center

The newly constructed children's hospital cost nearly $207 million and was constructed adjacent to the main medical center. The children's hospital has six floors, one of which is underground, for a total of 263,000 square feet of space. The new hospital boasts 151 pediatric beds and includes space for surgical patients, oncology, intensive care, and neonatal care. There are also five pediatric-only operating suites.

The Penn State Hershey Medical Center employs, as a whole, 8,800 employees. In addition, the medical center boasts over 400 volunteers, and the College of Medicine enrolls more than 800 students annually. The children's hospital has 150 pediatric medical and surgical specialists and is intended to be a destination pediatric facility for the region.

As an institution serving neonatal and pediatric patients, the children's hospital has a nature theme on every floor. The facility includes murals, landscaped courtyards and a performance area. In addition, the rooms are private and are designed to accommodate families. The new building opened for business in early 2014.

This comes from Dr. Barbara Ostrov, Interim Chief of Pediatrics, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital:

Dr. Barbara Ostrov

"The new Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital building, which opened in February 2013, enables families, staff and physicians the opportunity to provide ideal care for children in a welcoming, wonderful bright space in a nature-themed environment. The building includes many features highlighting our rural community, as well as Penn State Hershey’s dedication to patient- and family-centered care, with spaces that facilitate parent, sibling and other family members’ involvement as active participants of the care team. The Children’s Hospital also includes pediatric operating and procedure rooms, and specialized units for intensive care patients and immunocompromised children which help minimize the risk of infection. The large, sunlit windows in every room, the rooftop garden and outdoor courtyard are examples of Penn State Hershey’s commitment to the growing movement toward green health care facilities. The building was designed and constructed according to Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certification standards."

Center for Care and Discovery (University of Chicago)


Photos Courtesy of

As one of two Chicago-based facilities on the list, this health care center makes it apparent that this region of the country is becoming a hub of health care innovation and quality patient care. This new, 10-story hospital boasts over 1.2 million square feet, 240 private inpatient rooms and 21 operating rooms. Two entire floors are reserved as expansion space, which means the institution anticipates significant further growth.

The University of Chicago medical campus also includes a children's hospital, the Bernard A. Mitchell Hospital, a center for advanced medicine, a center for biomedical discovery and a medical school. The medical campus as a whole has over 9,500 employees, including 700+ attending physicians, almost 900 residents and fellows, more than 1,500 nurses, and a variety of support staff.

The Center for Care and Discovery cost $700 million and opened in February 2013. Two of its main focuses are on state of the art care for cancer and digestive diseases. It also specializes in neurosciences, advanced surgery and high-tech medical imaging. This center is well-positioned to take advantage of whatever the future of medicine might bring.

UCSF Medical at Mission Bay  (University of California, San Francisco)

Photos Courtesy of UCSF Mission Bay Medical

The University of California, San Francisco broke ground on the Mission Bay Hospital in 2010 and is currently scheduled to open its doors in February 2015. The project will cost an estimated 1.5 billion dollars and will include a children's hospital, a women's specialty hospital, and a cancer hospital for a combined total of 289 beds.

The current UCSF medical center employs almost 8,000 people at dozens of locations throughout San Francisco and outreach clinics throughout Northern California. Currently there are approximately 770,000 clinic visits and 38,000 hospital admissions annually. The new facility will add 878,000 square feet, of which 634,000 will be devoted to the children's, women's and cancer hospitals.

The San Francisco Bay Area is considered by many to be an desirable place to live. Additionally, the new expansion offers significant opportunities in a variety of health care specialties. This makes now an exciting time to explore careers at UCSF's medical center.

This comes from Cindy Lima, Executive Director, Mission Bay Hospitals Project:

UCSF Mission Bay Cindy Lima

"We beat our construction schedule by 8 days, in spite of several major changes we elected to make on our three benchmark hospitals: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, UCSF Bakar Cancer Hospital and UCSF Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital. We are on track to open on February 1, 2015 and expect to bring the project in at least $25 million under budget. I think what is unique is how we have simultaneously incorporated state-of-the art technology into such a warm, inviting, patient-centric facility - one that is filled with light, art and has extensive outdoor space, including 60,000 sf of roof top gardens. We couldn't be more pleased with what we've been able to create for patients, families, physicians and staff."

Rush Medical Center (Rush University, Chicago)

Photos Courtesy of Rush University Medical Center

As the second Chicago-based, university-affiliated medical center on the list, the Rush Medical Center's renovation was a nearly billion-dollar undertaking that launched in 2004. The renovation includes the Tower hospital building, the orthopedic building, and the Rush University Cancer Center.

The Tower building has 14 floors and over 830,000 square feet containing 376 beds, of which 304 are adult acute and critical care beds. There are 28 operating rooms and a large NICU. The orthopedic building is 220,000 square feet and houses 60 examination rooms, six x-ray and imaging suites, and an MRI and CT imaging center. The cancer center has 15 consultation rooms, which is five times its previous capacity. There are also 45 exam rooms, three procedure rooms and 56 chemotherapy stations.

Rush University offers one of the nation's top-ranked nursing colleges. Graduate programs are also offered in areas ranging from allied health to health systems management and biomedical research. The Medical Center also offers residency and fellowship programs in a variety of medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties and has over 8,000 employees.

William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital (University of Texas Southwestern)

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The UT Southwestern Medical Center has over 12,000 employees and trains more than 4,600 medical, graduate, and health profession students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows annually. The new facility, Clements University Hospital, is scheduled for completion in late 2014. The hospital will boast 460 single-patient rooms and 24 surgical suites over 12 floors and 1.3 million square feet.

This project cost an estimated $800 million, and the location will focus on specialized care as the nearby Zale Lipshy University Hospital and Parkland Memorial Hospital fulfills other needs. Specialty areas in the new hospital will include emergency care, obstetrics, neonatal intensive care, and heart/lung and cardiovascular care, among others. The futuristic building is W-shaped, a design which will facilitate caregiver sight lines and help prevent infection and exposure.

The new hospital will also employ the latest in medical records technology, which is aimed at reducing errors and facilitating collaboration among specialists whether they are in the building or across the country. Free WiFi and access to a remote control will enable patients to control their room's lighting and temperature. Additionally, they will be able to order restaurant-quality food 24 hours a day and host their families on the in-room sleeper sofas.

Neuromedicine Intensive Care Unit (University of Rochester)

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The Neuromedicine ICU was the result of an eighth-floor renovation at the Strong Memorial Hospital and is a centerpiece of the state-of-the-art UR Medicine Comprehensive Stroke Center. It contains 12 beds and is staffed 24/7 by neurointensivists, anesthesiologists, neurosurgeons, nurse practitioners, critical care nurses and respiratory therapists. These individuals are specially trained in caring for patients with critical neurological/neurosurgical disorders.

However, there are staff beyond the round-the-clock team. The ICU also employs social workers, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, nutritionists and clinical pharmacologists. This enables the ICU to create and execute the type of integrated, individualized treatment plans for each patient that can assist with the recovery process.

In 2008, the University of Rochester committed to a 10-year, $500 million strategic investment plan that is anticipated to add almost 800 positions to the UR Medical Center by 2015. The Neuromedicine ICU renovation cost $5.5 million and the new ICU is 5,500 square feet. The newly renovated space launched in July 2014.

New medical centers, new opportunities

It's apparent that patients will be the main beneficiaries of the cutting-edge care offered by these new and improved university health care centers. Allied health students and professionals may also benefit from the newest and best medical centers by seeking out these and other university medical centers as places to learn and build careers. Whether your career leads you work in primary care, cancer treatment, surgery, working in an emergency room, or another aspect of health care, there are many opportunities to learn and work at university-affiliated medical centers across the country.


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Center for Care and Discovery, The University of Chicago Medicine, Accessed October 1, 2014,

"Fact Sheet: The University of Chicago Medicine," The University of Chicago Medicine, 2014,

Fast Facts, UCSF Medican Center at Mission Bay, 2014,

"New Clements University Hospital to Redefine Patient Experience," Center Times, March 2014,

"Officials unveil new Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital," Lancaster Online, Cindy Stauffer, September 25, 2013,

Overview About Rush, Rush University Medical Center, Accessed October 1, 2014,

Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, 2013,

"Points of Pride," The Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center, July 16, 2013,

"UR Medical Center to Invest $500 Million Over Next 5-10 Years," University of Rochester Medical Center, January 17, 2008,

"UR Medicine Opens Door on New Neuromedicine ICU," July 28, 2014,

William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, UT Southwestern Medical Center, 2014,