Baylor College of Medicine will expand on its commitment to focusing on the best experience possible for patients in opening the first adult clinical practices in its new building on the McNair Campus next fall.
The Baylor College of Medicine Medical Center will showcase the College's intention to put the patient at the center of all of its efforts. The care received will be of the highest quality available, but the experience also will be aimed at comfort and convenience, with a close watch on efficiency and value.
"We are fully prepared for the changes in health care that will be necessary in the future," said Dr. Paul E. Klotman, BCM president and CEO. "Patients must be at the center of every service we provide, and they must be confident they are receiving the finest care at the best value in a system that is easy to use, with high-level attention to safety and outcomes."
The first practices that will move into the BCM Medical Center by fall 2013 will be gastroenterology, orthopedics, pain management, general surgery and urology.
Phase 2, the move of the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, will be completed in fall 2014, and Phase 3, the next group of clinical practices, in fall 2015. That will bring the built-out clinical space to 400,000 square feet, or about half of the building.
The clinical services that will open next fall will occupy 185,000 square feet of space in the new building. Included in Phase 1 will be the opening of the Bobby R. Alford Educational Center, which will be the setting for seminars, conferences and Grand Rounds, and the Comprehensive Healthcare Clinic for BCM's corporate wellness program.
In opening the BCM Medical Center, the College is building on its history of innovative patient care and centralizing its attention on what is best for the community.
"We have put a great deal of study into what is best for Houston," said Klotman. "Our priority always will be to serve our community first and we are confident that is what we are accomplishing on the McNair Campus."
The BCM Center will touch many lives in the larger Houston community.
"Baylor College of Medicine is a critical agent of innovation, both in the Texas Medical Center and in medical research nationwide," said Laura Arnold, a BCM trustee. "It has long been the incubator for some of the nation's top physicians. Under the outstanding leadership of Dr. Klotman, BCM will quickly become a regional leader in the area of direct patient care."
The opening of the first five adult clinical practices, as well as outpatient surgical services, is possible because the College's Board of Trustees has raised the funds to move the project forward quickly.
The trustees had a goal of $110 million and exceeded it, raising $126 million in three months. The Board in March approved plans to move into the new building, contingent on raising the needed funds through philanthropy. They quickly surpassed that goal.
Klotman noted several leadership gifts from trustees, including those of Laura Arnold, Jim Flores, Drayton McLane, Bob McNair, Corbin J. Robertson Jr., Marc Shapiro and Lester Smith. Many other trustees made gifts or supported the project through their foundations or from relationships in the community.
Now, BCM will look to the community for additional support for the project.
"The Houston community has a remarkable giving spirit," said Robertson, chair of the fundraising campaign. "The feeling of philanthropy that permeates this community is something that we are very proud of. Baylor College of Medicine has a central place in the Texas Medical Center which is something that touches every life in the city of Houston in some way. That is very important because without good health, you don't have a good life. We have a great College that is very well supported by wonderful people."
Another important aspect of the McNair Campus is to create a clinical home for BCM's adult private practice physicians.
"Consolidating the physicians in one location is obviously going to provide some cost savings on rent, but there is also a bit of esprit de corps that takes place," said Dr. Wendell Erwin, BCM trustee and alumnus. "You have a concentration of specialists and you talk to each other."
McNair agrees that having the physicians in one location will accelerate the spirit of cooperation and exchange of information. He also believes the College's approach will address the increasing costs of health care.
"One of the biggest challenges we face in the country today is the escalating costs of health care," said McNair. "I do believe by moving in the direction that the medical school is moving, focusing on the patient and centralizing information, it will make for a more efficient and more productive environment which will lead to lower costs."
"This is an easy-to-get-to, very attractive building which will draw patients, attract quality physicians to practice here, and medical students to train here," said McLane.
Along with the commitments from trustees, other significant gifts that were made during the three-month push for funds to open the new building were from the Cullen Foundation, the Cullen Trust for Health Care and the Baylor Medical Foundation.
Beth Robertson, who serves as chair of the Cullen Trust for Health Care and a trustee for the Cullen Foundation, said the Cullen family's support of Baylor began in the College's early days, and they have watched the development of a leading academic medical center.
"It has become a truly prestigious medical school – incredible research that impacts the world, incredible teaching and programs that impact our whole community and far beyond," said Robertson.
The BCM Medical Center will open as the second patient care facility on the McNair Campus. Already fully operational is the Lee and Joe Jamail Specialty Care Center, which includes the medical practices of psychiatry, ophthalmology, dermatology, plastic surgery and the Alzheimer's clinic.