West Virginia University (WVU) Hospitals in the US, is to build a ten-storey tower to address the increasing capacity challenges and improve the healthcare needs of patients in the state.

The $280m project is expected to add 139 new beds and be fully operational by 2016. As part of the development, the WVU Children’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, the emergency department and the Jon Michael Moore trauma center will also be expanded.

WVU Hospitals president and CEO Bruce McClymonds said as the population of the state continues to age, the demand for their services is going to continue to grow. "By expanding, we can address that demand," he said. "And, with more than 500 patients transferred to us each month from hospitals throughout the state, we can ensure West Virginians won’t have to leave the state to receive the highest quality healthcare."

WVU Health Sciences chancellor Christopher Colenda said the expansion is also important to the educational, research and outreach missions of the Health Sciences Center’s strategic plan, which includes the addition of 70 clinical faculty members to the School of Medicine over the next five years. "It impacts everything we do – from research to clinical care to educating future generations of healthcare providers," he added.

The expansion, which will be subject to certificate of need approval by the West Virginia Health Care Authority, will be financed by WVU Hospitals. Other WVU hospitals include the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, Chestnut Ridge Center, City Hospital and Jefferson Memorial Hospital.

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