published Thursday, July 25th, 2013

UT, Med partner in new women's-infants' hospital

The medical college of the University of Tennessee is planning to build a women's and infants' hospital, in conjunction with the Regional Medical Center in Memphis.

The new hospital will be build adjacent to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital on the campus of the UT Health Science Center near downtown Memphis, The Commercial Appeal reported (http://bit.ly/1c4K85j).

Kennard Brown, the medical school's executive vice chancellor, said the university's strategy is to build a world-class facility that will attract expectant mothers from across the region.

Brown provided a campus tour for state and local elected officials on Wednesday.

Brown said Shelby County's infant death rate of 9.6 per 1,000 is an improvement on earlier statistics, but still matches that of some third-world countries.

"So we need that world-class, state-of-the-art, woman's and infant's kind of facility," he said.

The new hospital is expected to cost $200 million, with UT providing the land.

Planning for the hospital, named the "University of Tennessee Regional Medical Center Women's & Infant's Pavilion," has begun. Officials have studied facilities in Houston and other cities for models.

An initial proposal for the venture was presented to UT's Board of Trustees last November. A more detailed plan could be presented to boards of UT and the Regional Medical Center next year, Brown said.

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