The final beam of the $1.1 billion OSU Wexner Medical Center expansion went into place on May 21 on
After a month of traveling around Columbus, the final steel beams found their home in the new Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute and Critical Care Center Monday afternoon.
At about 4 p.m., Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center faculty and staff, university and state leaders and members of the Columbus community watched as the final beam was placed to complete the steel frame of the new hospital. Hundreds of donors, staff and community members have literally been able to leave their mark on the expansion by signing the beams as they traveled through various locations around Columbus.
Dr. David Schuller, vice president of the Medical Center expansion and outreach, said the new $1.1 billion hospital is part of the largest expansion project OSU has undertaken and will result in one of the 15 tallest hospitals in the nation.
With the raising of the final beams, many Medical Center officials said this is an important step to making the it one of the best in the world.
Dr. Steven Gabbe, CEO of the Medical Center, said the OSU medical team will collaborate to do whatever it takes to find the cure for cancer.
“If you think that’s unimaginable, it is imaginable,” Gabbe said. “If it’s going to happen, it will happen here at Ohio State.”
President E. Gordon Gee said the Medical Center has been named one of the nation’s best hospitals for the last 18 years, and he has no doubt it will only continue to improve as a leader in cancer research.
“We have people who have devoted time to make a difference in the lives of so many patients and their families,” Gee said. “That is the beacon of hope.”
Patients were the main priority when designing the new hospital, which will house 420 private patient rooms and “green spaces,” which will enhance recovery and health of cancer patients, Gabbe said.
“We knew that patients must be closely involved in the design because if it provides the best, comfortable and most nurturing environment possible for the patients and their caregivers, we will do our best work,” said Dr. Michael Caligiuri, director of the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital. “We will get the best results.”
Research facilities will be on each floor of the new building, which will allow the doctors and researchers to work closely together on clinical trials. Caligiuri said discoveries in cancer research can’t be made when research leaders and doctors are separated.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman stressed the new hospital’s importance in improving the city and state’s economy, which will provide thousands of jobs in Columbus. Coleman said Columbus and OSU are “joined at the hip” and will only prosper together.
“Once again, The Ohio State University, my alma mater, is leading the way in showing not just our state but the entire world what we are capable of as Buckeyes,” Kasich said. “We all have a common goal, it’s a world free of cancer, and when that happens, we all know the James will be one of those reasons.”
Daniel Garvy, a fourth-year in geographic information systems, said he is excited to see the impact the new hospital will have on OSU.
“I think that it brings (OSU) even more of a good reputation in the field of medicine and health care,” Garvy said. “The university is using their funds to help more people and treat more patients in the Columbus and Ohio area, and that’s commendable.”