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MADISON, Wis. – UW Health’s board of directors Thursday approved moves intended to boost surgical, emergency and inpatient capacity at two of the health system’s hospitals.
One project, at University Hospital, will add a six-story structure planned to include 22 emergency department rooms, 22 flexible care beds and 48 inpatient rooms. The second project, at East Madison Hospital, is designed to add six operating rooms, 40 recovery rooms, 20 rooms for post-anesthesia care, 14 flexible care rooms, 20 emergency department rooms and four care rooms that can be shared between the emergency department and medical imaging.
The moves are part of UW Health’s broader expansion plans to meet the growing demand for its hospital services, according to Dr. Peter Newcomer, chief operating officer, UW Health.
The increasing demand for care at UW Health is driven by multiple factors, including a strong reputation as the best hospital in Wisconsin, local population growth, an aging population and a series of capacity challenges faced by regional and rural health systems.
“We have an opportunity to meet the needs of these patients, but to do that, we need to grow,” Newcomer said. “This growth will also allow us to continue to serve our current patients more effectively as this exciting work will improve the flow through our health system for all patients.”
The new space at University Hospital will be located between the UW Medical Foundation Centennial Building, 1685 Highland Ave., and University Hospital. The East Madison Hospital expansion will also meet the need for additional surgical capacity previously discussed as an ambulatory surgical center.
The board of directors approved a separate resolution Thursday authorizing up to $310 million for any costs involved in the project, though the construction cost is anticipated to be between $180 and $220 million. Pending all local government approvals, construction on both projects is expected to be completed sometime in 2026, though costs and timeline could change, according to Newcomer.
“Whether it’s our emergency rooms, our operating rooms, our hospitals or our outpatient care facilities, they are all very busy today with the challenge of thousands of new patients on the horizon,” he said. “Through expansions such as those announced today and the 2024 opening of our Eastpark Medical Center, we are excited to meet that challenge.”