HCMC breaks ground

Home News HCMC breaks ground

Minneapolis hospital adds new building

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The first hellicopter landed on the new $3.8 million helipad on Nov. 12. Photo by Ericka Sura.


Hennepin County Medical Center broke ground on their new clinic and specialty building Nov. 12 on the 700 block of South Eighth St. The 377,000 square feet, $220.8 million project is expected to receive its first patient in January 2018.

HCMC administrators planned the new building to make care more centralized and accessible to the increasing population in the downtown neighborhoods. The new building will bring together 40 clinics and specialty services that are currently located within nine different buildings.  Primary care, specialty care, physical and occupational therapy, same day surgery center, cancer center, outpatient imaging center and women’s imaging are some of the clinics and specialty services that can be found in the new building.  Along with six floors housing the clinics and specialty services, there will also be two levels of underground parking for patients and families.

Along with the new building, HCMC also added a new $3.8 million helipad that received its first flight on Nov 12.  The new helipad is located on the roof of the main hospital in close proximity to the emergency department.  With this new helipad, HCMC now has a faster and easier entrance for complex trauma and critical care patients that arrive by air.  The helipad is raised above the building, allowing the pilots to have better access to the landing.  It is also heated so that ice melts off the helipad during the winter months. By adding this helipad, HCMC doubled its capability to receive trauma patients by air and reduced transport time to the hospital according to HCMC in a project information statement.

The first person to fly in and land on HCMC’s new helipad was 6-year-old Reagan Lennes.  Lennes was a patient at HCMC last year after she was flown in to HCMC’s level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center from Alexandria.  Lennes and her 4-year-old sister, Hayden, were playing at a friend’s house which continained an in-home elevator. The Lennes sisters and their friend were riding the elevator when Reagan’s head became stuck in the elevator. Lennes sustained injuries that tore her scalp from ear to ear and broke every bone in her face except for her nose.

“She doesn’t remember her helicopter flight last year, but we’re hoping this ride is one she’ll never forget,”said Dr. Andrew Kiragu, medical director for HCMC’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, in a press release from HCMC. Reagan was greeted on the helipad by her family, Bernie, HCMC’s mascot, and her doctor.

The community came together and celebrated the groundbreaking at HCMC with speeches by project partners, hot drinks and a tour.  Visitors also enjoyed a live stream of the inaugural landing on the  helipad.