UIHC breaks ground on North Liberty facility

The facility will serve the healthcare needs of the state and contribute to the University of Iowa’s mission of research and education, said UI President Barbara Wilson.


Grace Smith

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, University of Iowa President Barbara Wilson, CEO of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Suresh Gunasekaran, Board of Regents President Mike Richards, and others break ground with shovels during a groundbreaking ceremony at the North Liberty University of Iowa hospitals and clinics construction site on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021.

Natalie Dunlap, Politics Editor

University of Iowa officials, Board of Regents members, and Gov. Kim Reynolds celebrated breaking ground on a new UIHC facility in North Liberty on Thursday. 

“The campus will be providing significant economic development for eastern Iowa in the form of new high paying jobs, but it’s the entire state that will benefit from the University of Iowa’s expanded presence here,” Reynolds said, standing at the property off the intersection of Forevergreen Road and Coral Ridge Avenue in North Liberty. 

Reynolds praised the mission of the facility and said it was particularly important as Iowa faces a shortage of health care providers. She said the campus will strengthen Iowa’s infrastructure and entice new providers to the state. 

The 60-acre, $395 million facility will include 48 patient beds, 21 emergency care rooms, 16 operating rooms, 96 clinic exam rooms, a pharmacy with 24/7 drive through services, research space for clinical studies, and educational space for students and trainees. 

UI President Barbara Wilson said the facility will help the college fulfill its missions in teaching, research, and education. 

“We need to be a talent magnet here, and this great facility that we’re breaking ground on today will be part of that,” Wilson said. 

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UIHC CEO Suresh Gunasekaran said healthcare workers are tired from working through the pandemic, but that investments like the new facility support the UIHC’s future and motivate providers. 

“We know that there are days when we will be able to have additional capacity, additional services and meet our patients in more convenient locations, and for the benefit of the community and for the honor and privilege of being able to deliver that care,” Gunasekaran said. “I want to thank you for making that possible.” 

Dan Lose, a nurse in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony, told The Daily Iowan the facility provides an opportunity to medical students who want to make Iowa home.  

“People want to work to stay in Iowa, so people come and get their education here and to be able to stay in Iowa and put their heads down and make this home is awesome,” he said.