The $185 million facility has been made possible, in part, by funds from a landmark gift of $110 million from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation.
(Photo courtesy of University of Utah)
The University of Utah recently broke ground on the new home for its Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine. The $185 million facility has been made possible, in part, by funds from a landmark gift of $110 million from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation. The gift provides support not only for the building, but also medical education programs and cardiovascular research.
The new 185,000-sq.-ft. building will become the hub of the University of Utah's nationally recognized health sciences campus. Once open, the facilities will accelerate the school's ability to provide the highest quality medical education, advanced research and patient care, while the added support from the foundations' dramatically increases the school's endowment and powers critical research.
Construction of the U's new medical education building was approved by the Utah State Legislature in 2017 with a $50 million commitment and an additional $60 million appropriation was approved earlier this year. More than $50 million in added philanthropic pledges for the project have also been secured. Completion of the project is expected in 2025.
"The incredible impact of the University of Utah's health sciences program in education, research and care across the Intermountain West is a source of great pride for the entire state," said Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox. "This new facility will make a major difference in our ability to address the growing need for top-tier doctors in the state, especially in our rural areas."
"I have long believed that no state or region can become truly great without a world-class medical center at its nucleus," said Spencer F. Eccles, namesake of the school and chairman, CEO of both the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation. "We hope this seminal grant —the largest ever awarded by our foundations — will help ensure the University not only provides the highest quality medical education for the doctors who serve Utah and the entire Intermountain West, but also furthers the excellence of health care for all our citizens and impacts the future of medicine through its groundbreaking research."
Plans for the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine building are focused in three major areas:
Global Health: With significant funding from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the building's Global Health Pavilion will enable faculty and students to expand their innovative efforts to provide health care to more people in need, both within and beyond the boundaries of the U.S. It will provide a central hub for many global health-focused groups that are currently scattered throughout the U campus, enabling groups to continue to improve the quality of healthcare in less-developed areas.
Core Medical Education (Core Med): Intermountain Healthcare has awarded a grant for the building's core medical education spaces, including adaptive classrooms that are increasingly important as medical curriculum changes over time. The building will also include a new advanced simulation center and anatomy lab.
Collaboration Spaces: Nearly 15 percent of the building will be "common areas," designed to foster collaboration among students, faculty and the state's medical community. It will house the school's Center for Interprofessional Experiential Learning, weaving important interaction between working medical professionals, students, and faculty into medical education.
"This building is being designed to advance innovation in medical education," said Sara M. Lamb, vice dean of medical education of the University of Utah. "It will enable us to continue to be a "proving ground" in educating top-flite medical students who will carry medical sciences and patient care forward. The solutions created at this school and the generosity that made it possible will not only improve health outcomes, but also extend lives and improve the quality of life for countless individuals and families."
University of Utah Health is the only academic medical center in the Mountain West, providing patient care for nearly 10 percent of the geographic area of the continental U.S. The construction of the medical education building is expected to drive the most critical evolution in the medical school's history and be used across three primary areas: education, research and clinical care.
"The University of Utah is fortunate to have benefitted for many decades from the visionary leadership of the Eccles family," said University of Utah President Taylor Randall. "This iconic new building anchoring our University Health campus, reflects the remarkable, generous legacy of the Eccles Family and foundations that spans more than 70 years at the U. Their remarkable gift is already enabling our Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine to move further forward as a world-class integrated academic medical institution."
The Eccles Foundations' gift of $110 million includes the new medical education building; endowed funds which will enrich student scholarships, recruitment of top-flight faculty, and innovative medical education programs; and research funding, focused on cardiovascular science and heart disease. These resources will allow the medical school to continue developing innovations in healthcare delivery (especially for rural and underserved populations), advances in teaching models and timelines, and, eventually, make future increases in the size of the medical school class while also attracting more diverse faculty and students.
"Thanks to this extraordinary grant – and now the construction of the new medical education building it is helping fund — others in our community are also coming together to shape the future of healthcare in Utah," said University of Utah Health CEO Michael L. Good. "With significant investments in Global Health, Population Health, Genomics, Simulation, Discovery and more, this is a true turning point for our institution to impact Utah, the Mountain West, and the U.S."
"This transformational gift sets the course for the future of medical education at the University," Good added. "It has advanced significantly in recent decades as new discoveries and technologies emerge. At the same time, the state of Utah is experiencing a need for more physicians, particularly in rural areas. This gift presents a unique opportunity: we will provide the most advanced education to raise new generations of health care professionals who will, in turn, improve health for our state and region. Our newly named school will join the ranks of the nation's preeminent named institutions. We will not just adapt to the future of medicine — we will define it."
The Eccles family and associated charitable foundations have invested vital resources in the University of Utah's medical school, patient care facilities, research programs and allied health and wellness programs for more than five decades in areas spanning cardiovascular and genetics research, nursing, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pharmacology, critical care and more. Among the highlights are the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Critical Care Pavilion at University Hospital; the Spencer F. and Cleone P. Eccles Health Sciences Education Building; the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation Cardiovascular Research and Training Institute; the Emma Eccles Jones Research Building; and the George and Dolores Eccles Institute of Human Genetics, among others.
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