IRVINE, Calif.—Plans to build a world-class hospital and medical center estimated to cost more than $1 billion on the northern edge of the University of California—Irvine (UCI) campus have been approved by the University of California Board of Regents.
Construction of the 144-bed acute care facility, ambulatory care center and cancer center is expected to begin this year.
The hospital joins already approved plans for the UCI Health Center for Advanced Care, combining to form the new UCI Medical Center Irvine-Newport, a full-service academic health complex that will bring a broad spectrum of health care services to coastal and southern Orange County, UCI officials said in a Jan. 21 news release.
The center is planned to provide access to the hundreds of clinical trials underway at UCI Health.
UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman said the hospital approval means that UCI has taken a giant leap toward fulfilling the visionary expansion of the campus and enhancing service to the community.
“Once this project is completed, the UCI healthcare system will be unparalleled in this region, with two advanced medical centers, nationally recognized research units conducting hundreds of clinical trials, and a network of community locations stretching to all corners of Orange County,” Gillman said in a press release.
The surrounding grounds are planned for a UCI Presidential Gateway that will offer educational programs, academic research, art, and nature trails.
“It will be a place to nurture health and lifelong wellbeing—truly advancing the three cornerstones of the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service,” the chancellor stated.
The new UCI Health medical campus will complement the flagship UCI Medical Center in Orange, officials said. In addition to full hospital services, the existing facility provides pediatric trauma and regional burn centers, and the county’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center.
Plans call for the UCI Health Center for Advanced Care project to house the Center for Children’s Health, medical offices, and an urgent care operation.
“No other health system in the county is powered by one of the world’s finest academic research institutions: the University of California,” Chad Lefteris, chief executive of UCI Health said in the press release. “Our goal is to make this expertise easily available to everyone in Orange County.”
More than 2,500 health care and construction jobs are expected to be created as the result of the UCI Medical Center Newport-Irvine project, officials said.