LEXINGTON, Ky. — To meet the community’s and the Commonwealth’s growing health needs, UK HealthCare will begin planning design efforts on building projects over the next several years that could ultimately total some $2.4 billion.

Those projects – part of a refresh of UK HealthCare’s strategic plan – were endorsed Thursday by members of the UK Board of Trustees health care committee during an annual retreat. The full UK Board of Trustees will consider those projects at its Friday meeting.

Projects are designed to expand access to advanced subspecialty care on the University of Kentucky campus and provide more primary and specialty care in the community to UK employees and for medically underserved areas.

“More people – both within the UK community and those who simply cannot access the care we provide for many reasons – have primary and ambulatory treatment needs that should be filled closer to home,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “We are now a sprawling academic health system within a growing and thriving university enterprise – something those on whose shoulders we stand could never have envisioned more than six decades ago. We have built not for the names of buildings or for acclaim but for our state – its health and its future. And we must continue to grow to meet the growing needs of our state.”

Trustees on the health care committee endorsed a refresh of the academic medical system’s 2025 strategic plan and a five-year budget plan, detailing the resources necessary to fund expanded facilities on the Chandler campus, more employees and further growth as an access point for ambulatory and specialty care in the region.

Specifically, trustees endorsed plans to:

  • Enhance the position of UK HealthCare as the state’s premier center for advanced sub-specialty care by building a new bed tower on the Chandler campus near the 12-story tower opened in 2011. UK HealthCare also will be embarking on projects to build more operating room capacity and renovate and expand existing acute pediatric care spaces as well endoscopy. UK HealthCare also estimates it will need to grow its skilled workforce by nearly 4,800 people over the next several years.
  • Expanding UK HealthCare’s capacity to care for the community and UK people. UK HealthCare, with approval from the Board of Trustees, will begin planning and design work on ambulatory care sites in the region to provide greater access to care to UK employees and their families, as well as crucially medically underserved areas here in Fayette County. The gap in life expectancy across some Fayette County zip codes, for example, is 11 years, based in part on access to care.
  • Growing an academic health system – fueled by transdisciplinary approaches to research — for Kentucky to meet the health care needs of the state. UK HealthCare’s recently completed acquisition of King’s Daughters is further expanding access to care throughout the state. Similarly, UK is constructing facilities on campus – a new Health Education Building – to bring together potential clinicians across disciplines to learn, work and heal together.


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