UC Health, a nonprofit health organization serving Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, completed the first phase of a $22 million project this month to expand patient care services in Avondale.
The academic health system opened its newest patient-care facility Jan. 9 on the third floor of Ridgeway Tower at 3200 Burnet Ave. — the former Jewish Hospital building located across the street from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
The expansion added 26 patient beds to Ridgeway Tower, which now provides 92 beds on five floors. It also added radiology and diagnostic imaging, laboratory and food services to the facility.
“Our ultimate goal is to be able provide care for more patients,” said Rob Portwood, assistant vice president of hospital operations at UC Medical Center. “We will continue to evaluate opportunities to expand our services as a long term goal within the Ridgeway Tower.”
The project has been in the works for more than a year, UC Health said in a statement. UC Health expects the project to increase its capacity, allowing the organization to lodge additional transfer patients from local community hospitals.
UC Health plans to hire 63 new employees, including respiratory therapists and nurses, to accommodate the expansion. The organization is also hiring medical assistants, security officers, social workers, case managers, dieticians and laboratory technicians, said Portwood.
Development is not a new theme for UC Health. In October 2018, the organization opened its newest breast cancer clinic on the third level of the UC Health Barrett Cancer Center, The News Record reported. This spring, work crews are expected to finalize construction on the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, a $68 million project that will become UC’s latest addition to the mixed-use Uptown Innovation Corridor.
Upgrades and renovations to Ridgeway Tower, which currently operates as UC Health’s administrative headquarters, have been underway for years. In 2016, UC Health opened psychiatric care units on the building’s fifth and sixth floors, as well as a low-acuity patient unit on the fourth floor.
Following its latest expansion, the third and fourth floors are now designed to serve high-acuity patients. UC Medical Center will continue to see low-acuity patients, said Portwood.
“Our goal as an academic medical center is to care for all patients in the local, regional, and national communities,” said Portwood. “We also are best equipped to care for those with the highest acuity of medical needs. This allows us to do both, and do it for more patients.”
As part of its ongoing expansion efforts, UC Health plans to open a radiology suite on the A-level of Ridgeway Tower, said Rick Shumway, chief administrative officer of UC Medical Center, in a news release. The suite is expected to open by April 2019.
In the coming months, services will be added to the radiology and diagnostic imaging area. Outpatient services are expected to begin in the spring, and future growth is anticipated.