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CEDAR RAPIDS - March 30, 2010 - Physicians' Clinic of Iowa (PCI) has announced the appointment of its New Building Committee to oversee construction of a proposed $36 to $44 million medical facility in the Cedar Rapids area. Committee members are Jeffrey V. Nielsen, M.D., chair, Jeffrey S. Krivit, M.D., vice chair, Shahin Bagheri, M.D., Michael S. Brooks, M.D., Kevin M. Carpenter, M.D., William P. Fusselman, M.D., Scott D. Geisler, M.D., David P. Hart, M.D., David M. Lawrence, M.D., Jeffrey M. Nassif, M.D., P. James Renz III, M.D., Thomas D. Richardson, M.D., Jonathan M. Rippentrop, M.D., Robert J. Struthers, M.D. and Thomas L. Warren, Jr., M.D. The committee will work with the building's designer to provide suggestions for patient flow and wayfinding and recommend conceptual and final building design.
PCI envisions a state-of-the-art, 180,000 to 200,000-square-foot ambulatory care facility that would consolidate the present five PCI medical office buildings and their ancillary services into a single "medical mall" facility. The building would house PCI clinics & specialty centers, multidisciplinary clinics, a diagnostic laboratory, an imaging center, diagnostic testing services, a pharmacy, a patient and community education center and healthcare screening. The facility will also house healthcare-related tenants and a café.
BBL of Albany, N.Y., has been chosen to design and plan PCI's medical facility and manage its construction. Cedar Rapids area contractors will bid for the project. "BBL is one of the country's top design/build firms specializing in healthcare facilities," says Michael Sundall, PCI's CEO. "They have a great deal of experience in the design/build of medical malls, which was a significant factor in their selection." BBL medical malls include The Capital Region Health Park in Latham, N.Y., HIMG Regional Medical Park in Huntington, W.Va., Eden Hill Medical Center, Dover, Del., and Vassar Brothers Medical Mall, Fishkill, N.Y.
The Cedar Rapids City Council is currently considering PCI's request to close 2nd Avenue between 10th and 12th streets. According to Sundall, closing 2nd Avenue would allow PCI to build a 200,000-square-foot, two-story building that spans across 2nd Avenue and would achieve PCI's goals for an innovative medical mall campus supported by convenient, safe parking and good traffic flow.
Over the past nine months, PCI has considered over 20 facility and site options in the Cedar Rapids area. During that time, representatives from Mercy Medical Center, St. Luke's Hospital and the City of Cedar Rapids approached Physicians' Clinic of Iowa and asked PCI to consider building in downtown Cedar Rapids. PCI's physician leadership agreed to explore the downtown location in October 2009. "PCI is very enthused at becoming a major catalyst in the redevelopment of downtown Cedar Rapids," says Sundall.
PCI would like to build in the City's proposed Medical District as long as it does not require compromising PCI's overall goals for the project, says Sundall. "This is an opportunity to create a unique medical campus within the heart of the city with green space and easy wayfinding for patients," he explains. "We really don’t want this to evolve into an urban office building. PCI wants to create a new ambulatory care facility that supports multidisciplinary patient care within a high-touch, high-tech environment while also helping Cedar Rapids become a healthcare destination for patients seeking specialized medical care. That's good for everyone - PCI, the City, the Medical District, the two hospitals, and the health and future of downtown Cedar Rapids.
"We've been asked if the new building and all of its conveniences will mean more expensive care," says Sundall. "That is absolutely not the case. Our new building will not increase the cost of healthcare, as we are paid in a fixed-payment system through third party payers and PCI already does a remarkable job with managing its costs."
PCI plans to add 15 to 20 new providers over the next 3 to 7 years. "In addition to expanding care options for patients, this also means additional jobs," says Sundall. "Every time a new PCI provider is hired, four more jobs are created within PCI."
Physicians' Clinic of Iowa is a multidisciplinary medical specialty group founded in 1997.