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New Texas Health Resources, UTSW campus helps shape medical district of the north

New Texas Health Resources, UTSW campus helps shape medical district of the north

A glimmering campus nearing completion along the Dallas North Tollway in Frisco represents more than just a community hospital.

To leaders of Texas Health Resources and UT Southwestern Medical Center, the $270 million project is the cornerstone of a burgeoning medical district serving Dallas’ fastest-growing suburbs.

Rising from a 20-acre field that Texas Health bought more than a decade ago, the campus includes a 325,000-square-foot hospital, a 125,000-square-foot medical office building and a 90,000-square-foot specialty clinic. It’s set to open this month to patients.

It’s the newest medical gem along a 10-mile stretch of the tollway where Dallas-Fort Worth’s top health care providers are keen to capitalize on Collin County’s rapid growth. The county’s population has grown 30% in the past decade and now tops 1 million.

State demographers say it will more than double to 2.4 million by 2050.

To keep up with the region’s population shift, Children’s Health and Cook Children’s are planning to build pediatric hospitals just north of the new Texas Health-UT Southwestern collaboration.

Scottish Rite opened a 345,000-square-foot children’s orthopedic and sports medicine center in late 2018, a few miles south at the tollway and Lebanon Road.

And a few months before that, Baylor Scott White christened a sports therapy and research center at The Star, the city’s high-profile development and home to the Dallas Cowboys’ headquarters.

Around the same time, Medical City converted a 54-bed former Forest Park Medical Center at the tollway and Frisco Square Boulevard into an acute care hospital that offers a range of services, from adult and pediatric surgery to robotic-assisted laparoscopy.

It also broke ground this year on a $37 million expansion to add a five-story, 150,000-square-foot medical office building and ambulatory surgery center.

“You don’t have to drive an hour and a half to go downtown and navigate terrible parking to access this outstanding care,” said Brett Lee, president of Texas Health Resources.

“We’re right here in the backyard of the folks at Frisco.”

Crews complete exterior work at Texas Health Frisco, set to open this month.

The campus includes a 325,000-square-foot hospital, a 125,000-square-foot medical office building and a 90,000-square-foot specialty clinic.(Jason Janik / Special Contributor)

Nationally, 482 hospital projects were underway during the three-month period from July through September, according to Revistamed, which tracks health care-related construction.

Those projects represented about $58 billion in investment.

Texas Health, the region’s largest nonprofit health care system, and UT Southwestern, the leading research institution, formed a joint venture in 2015, and the Frisco campus is their first hospital-based project.

Texas Health operates 29 hospitals and boasts the largest physicians network in the region. UT Southwestern researchers experiment with novel treatments for cancer, and brain and heart diseases.

The Frisco hospital will open with 73 b, though that will be expandable to 140. It will have a 24/7 emergency department, surgical services, women’s services and a neonatal intensive care unit.

Its medical staff will include UT Southwestern faculty, Texas Health physicians and independent doctors.

The UT Southwestern-branded medical building will house outpatient care in more than a dozen specialties, including a clinic of the Peter O’Donnell Jr.

Brain Institute and breast and colon cancer screening and treatment.

The two systems set out to build a facility to serve all of the community’s health ne and promote wellness, Lee said.

The hospitals convened focus groups in Frisco to find out what residents wanted in a medical campus.

With feedback in hand, designers came up with an environmentally friendly building with walking trails for exercise and a wooded skybridge between the hospital and office building.

Instead of opening another Starbucks, they opted to put Dallas-based coffee shop Ascension inside the campus. The campus plans to host nutritional cooking classes, “Mommy and Me” yoga classes and community educational events.

On Dec. 14, it will host a holiday-themed grand opening with a snow-covered hill and slide, free health screenings and photo opportunities with Santa Claus.

“Our intent is to be a true member of this community and not just a community hospital,” Lee said.

Some passers-by have mistaken Texas Health Frisco for a hotel or spa resort because of its design, Lee said.

“We’re also bringing in some partners from the Ritz-Carlton to help us with a customer service philosophy here that I think is really going to be unique,” he said.

To prepare for its opening, the hospital held mock operations Nov.

19 to train over 200 employees. It simulated patient care activities to help prepare the staff for any patient who comes to the hospital.

“It’s a really great way for us to test our systems before we open the door. That way, we’re not practicing on the first patient that walks in,” Lee said.

“We’re ready to go.”

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