CORALVILLE– Opening a 167,000 square foot medical clinic in Coralville, University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics (UIHC) has placed a major foothold in the redevelopment site of a brownfield which once housed an open-air coal storage site, railroad storage and transfer sites, a former municipal dump, an asphalt factory, and multiple fuel storage tanks.
The brownfield redevelopment, which also boasts a conference center and 200-room hotel, restaurants, retail space and a microbrewery, has been the focus of an ongoing EPA cleanup since 1998 that’s brought almost $2 million in EPA grants for assessment and some minor cleanup.
The brownfield is a 300-acre site on both sides of the river. In 2010, the Iowa State Board of Regents approved the purchase of 1.3 acres from the city of Coralville for a little over $2 million for the UIHC facility.
The $73 million building at Iowa River Landing (IRL) was bought with $51.1 million in hospital clinic bonds and $22 million in hospital cash accounts.
The outpatient clinic opened in early October and will house UIHC ambulatory care.
The building is staffed by over 200 employees (some new and some transferred from other UIHC buildings) and managed by Dr. Rami Boutros, Executive Medical Director for UIHC Off-site Ambulatory Care Programs.
Boutros, hired last summer to oversee development of IRL from Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, said opening a new facility has been very exciting and he’s enjoyed being part of a great team at UIHC.
The IRL clinic is using new ways to deliver care for patients, including in the floor plan and layout of the patient and work areas.
“Our hallways are not congested with paperwork, staff spaces and traffic,” he said. Instead work areas are separated, ensuring patient comfort and allowing for medical teams to collaborate easily and discuss cases confidentially.
Boutros said great care was taken to maintain patient privacy at IRL and the facility has a simple layout for easy navigation.
In addition to anticipating and accommodating patient needs, for its first year Boutros said IRL will be in a ramp-up phase.
UIHC medical staff treated about 1,000 patients in the first week the new location opened, and Boutros hopes in its first year around 150,000 to 170,000 people will visit the clinic for consultation and treatment.
Eventually, some 300,000 patients are expected to visit the Coralville clinic by the river.
The five-story building offers primary care (pediatrics and internal medicine), dermatology, diabetes care, obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, and otolaryngology. The clinic also offers ancillary services like radiology, a pharmacy, hearing aid and optic shops, but no surgery.
For emergency room visits and anything requiring anesthesia, patients are still being sent to UIHC main campus.
“The new facility gives UIHC the opportunity to serve more patients easily,” Boutros said.
The clinic was designed to take the outpatient care load from the hospital’s main campus next to Kinnick Stadium, where some patients may be moved into private rooms with the additional space. In addition, over the next few years, UIHC will improve its parking system and build a $270 million children’s hospital at the main campus.
Some medical students and residents will work at the new site as part of university training.
Iowa City-architecture firm Neumann Monson designed the building, which is located just south of Interstate 80 off First Avenue. The clinic has free parking at a ramp built by the City of Coralville that fits 700 cars.
Learn more about the new building and UIHC care at their website: www.uihealthcare.org .