Sept. 26, 1996

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    Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine dedicated

    The Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine, a state-of-the-art 525,000-square-foot, $150 million outpatient-care facility, was dedicated by the University on Sept. 9. The center, which occupies the entire block between 57th and 58th streets and Maryland and Cottage Grove avenues, is the largest and most technologically advanced building on campus.

    The building was constructed with a $21 million gift from the Richard Duchossois family, for whom the building is named. The gift is the largest dollar amount ever received by the University from an individual family in a single gift. The gift also endowed a professorship to honor John Ultmann, Professor in Medicine and a nationally recognized cancer specialist.

    Designed for patients, with guidance from patients, and named after a patient, the Duchossois Center brings together in one convenient location most of the University's vast diagnostic and outpatient-treatment capacity, services that were previously dispersed throughout the Medical Center in more than a dozen different buildings.

    "The Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine sets the standard for academic medical centers around the country," said Ralph Muller, President of the Hospitals. "Patients, physicians, scientists, medical educators and hospital administrators have all worked with architects to shape this innovative structure. As a result, it will serve as a model for health-care delivery well into the next century."

    To avoid disrupting patient care, the individual clinical services will gradually move into the building on a staggered schedule over seven weekends starting in October.

    Consolidation will improve access for patients, simplify visits for those with complicated disorders that require attention from several different specialties, and support the Hospitals' team approach to treatment.

    "This handsome new building will make it much simpler and easier for our patients to visit their doctors," added Glenn Steele Jr., Dean of the Biological Sciences Division and Vice President for Medical Affairs. "The old clinic space, much of it erected in the late 1920s, then remodeled and extended bit by bit for 70 years, had become a bewildering maze for patients. Now, even for patients who need to see several different specialists or have a battery of diagnostic tests, scheduling and way finding will be quite simple. Further, this building responds to the changes in how health care is now delivered -- without hospital beds."

    The patient-centered planning process won't end when the building opens. Each patient who comes to the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine will be surveyed during his or her visit to continue to find new ways to make the structure suit patient needs. Feedback from visitors will be gathered continuously and measured to assess progress and to predict and prevent problems.

    Diagnostic and treatment services within the center will be concentrated in patient-oriented units, organized by organ system rather than by academic department. For example, all cardiopulmonary services will be concentrated on one floor, with exam rooms on one side and diagnostic and treatment equipment on the other.

    The center includes 209 oversized (to accommodate family members and physicians-in-training) exam rooms and 62 rooms for outpatient procedures, including five operating rooms for ambulatory surgery. It features two "helical" CT scanners that allow faster, more detailed imaging and improved 3-D reconstruction capabilities, and a state-of the-art echoplanar MRI scanner. More unusual features include a fully digital chest X-ray machine (the only other one in Chicago is across the street in the University's Mitchell Hospital), a dedicated breast-imaging center with computer-assisted diagnosis (the only such device in the world), direct digital linkage between radiology and key clinics, and enhanced facilities for nuclear medicine and for radiation therapy -- including three linear accelerators and computerized simulators for precise dose planning and delivery.

    Areas dedicated to chemotherapy and gastrointestinal procedures, two University of Chicago programs with leading national reputations, will more than double their current space to accommodate increased demand.

    The Duchossois Center will expand the Medical Center's 2.1 million-square-foot facilities by about 25 percent. The move will open up space within the medical complex for research.