McCormick Foundation grant to the University of Chicago will support the Medical Center

McCormick Foundation grant to the University of Chicago will support the Medical Center

October 29, 2010

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening the nation's civic health, has provided a $5 million grant to the University of Chicago to support the Medical Center. This contribution exemplifies the Foundation's commitment to advancing medical care within the city of Chicago.

"Over the years, we've continued Colonel McCormick's tradition of supporting institutions doing important and innovative work in this city," said David Hiller, president and CEO of the McCormick Foundation. "The new hospital project is pioneering and extraordinary in its design and use of technology. It will be recognized as one of the great research hospitals and medical centers in the world."

In recognition of the Foundation's generosity, the primary entrance to the Medical Center's New Hospital Pavilion, to open in 2013, will be named the McCormick Foundation Lobby.

"The New Hospital Pavilion embodies our commitment to biomedicine and to the delivery of complex clinical care informed by the research of our faculty," said Robert J. Zimmer, President of the University of Chicago. "This facility will bring new capacities to physicians, new opportunities to clinical scientists, new levels of comfort and support to patients and their families, and educational opportunities for students. It will be the ideal setting for the delivery of modern medical care."

"We are extremely thankful to the McCormick Foundation for this generous grant," said Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, Dean of the Division of the Biological Sciences and the Pritzker School of Medicine and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Chicago. "The McCormick Foundation Lobby will be the first physical contact for many of those coming to the hospital. A bright, pleasant, welcoming entrance, it will help set the tone for the best possible patient experience."

Now under construction, the 10-story, 1.2 million-square-foot New Hospital Pavilion will provide the optimal setting for patient care, innovative clinical research and medical education. Designed by world-renowned architect Rafael Viñoly, it will provide a home for many of the Medical Center's most distinguished clinical programs, those that provide complex specialty care with a focus on cancer, gastrointestinal disease, neurological disorders, advanced surgery and high-technology medical imaging.

Extending 570 feet along the south side of 57th Street from Cottage Grove Avenue, over Maryland Avenue to Drexel Avenue, it will serve as the new "core" of the Medical Center campus. Each floor will provide more than 100,000 square feet of space--more than 1.5 football fields.

It will contain 240 private inpatient and intensive care beds; 28 state-of-the-art operating rooms; 12 rooms for gastrointestinal and pulmonary procedures; seven interventional radiology suites; and advanced diagnostic tools including high-resolution, high-speed MRI and CT scanners.

The entire structure is based on an innovative grid system--a matrix of modular cubes, each one 31.5 feet across and 18 feet high. The repeating modules, 102 on each floor, can be reconfigured as needed for a wide range of purposes, from inpatient beds to radiology suites to operating rooms, without changing the basic frame of the building.

This spacious, flexible design will foster collaboration and interaction among clinicians, enable the building to adapt to the rapidly evolving nature of modern medical technology, and provide a haven for patients and families dealing with complex illness. It will also be a place where students can gain hands-on experience and knowledge.

It will be easy to navigate and filled with natural light. The first-floor McCormick Foundation Lobby will open onto Maryland Avenue, which the building will span. Retail space, including a café, will enhance the streetscape.

"The city of Chicago and its surrounding region will benefit from this facility's cutting-edge technology and great research," said Dennis FitzSimons, chair of the Foundation's board of directors. "Not only will patients benefit, but the next generation of doctors will have an opportunity to advance medical procedures."

Major construction began in the spring of 2009. The structural framework--more than 12,000 major pieces of steel--was completed last month. The building will open in early 2013.