New patient care tower opening at UConn Health campus

The new patient care tower, pictured above, will be built at UConn Health in Farmington. (Courtesy/UConn Health)

The John Dempsey Hospital is in the process of receiving renovations to the existing building and is also expanding its services to include a brand new tower at UConn Health in Farmington.

The new hospital tower, which totals at $325,866,000, began construction in 2012, and is currently scheduled to be completed in 2016, with the power of 5,000 construction workers. Renovations to the existing hospital, which cost an estimated $163 million, began in 2014 and are set to be completed in 2018, according to Bioscience Connecticut.

Bioscience Connecticut is an initiative launched by Gov. Dannell Malloy in 2011, an investment of $864 million across the state to provide advanced medical care and bolster the economy by creating new jobs, according to information provided by UConn Health information officer Lauren Woods

The new tower received $318,288,000 in funding from Bioscience Connecticut, and an additional $7,578,000 from UConn Health and the UConn Foundation. The tower is set to officially open on May 13th, Woods said. By opening day, ten of the new tower’s operating rooms will be fully functional.

“In addition to state-of-the-art equipment and services, the projects are being designed to best meet the needs of our patients and their families,” a post read on UConn Health’s website.

The hospital tower will scour 11 levels, with an emergency department, surgery suite, MRI suite, remal dialysis, respiratory therapy, inpatient rehab, clinical support and patient education spaces. Also included in the plans are 169 single bed inpatient rooms, a 28 bed intensive care unit, a 29 bed step-down unit for cardiac and medical patients and three separate 28 bed units for oncology, orthopedics and surgery, according to Bioscience Connecticut.

Renovations to the existing building will include upgrades to several departments in the hospital, including the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center, Clinical Pathology Labs, Clinical Pharmacy and others. Updates in heating and cooling, ventilation, plumbing and electrical systems are also included in the renovations, according to Bioscience Connecticut.

“The new patient care tower and renovations to John Dempsey Hospital will provide the region with the most advanced health care technologies,” a post reads on UConn Health’s website.

The new tower will also allow for better patient—nurse communication with the installation of phone systems that are connected to patients’ bedside call systems, as well as high-tech training and medical education rooms equipped with cameras and plasma screens ideal for broadcasting. A “smart robot” pharmacy system will also be implemented, getting medication to patients safely, according to UConn Health.

A large waiting area in the new tower will be for those accompanying patients. Patients will be taken directly to an area for evaluation upon arrival, according to a statement by UConn Health Emergency Department Chief Dr. Rob Fuller.

Earlier this month, the University of Connecticut’s canine mascot Jonathan XIV took a hard hat tour of the new tower’s construction site alongside hospital CEO Anne Diamond, outlining all of the new hospital tower’s state-of-the-art features. 


Molly Stadnicki is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at molly.stadnicki@uconn.edu.