Another large trend delivers contracting opportunities galore – the upgrading of America’s health-care infrastructure

Throughout the country, health-care facilities are receiving an abundance of attention, and large construction, renovation, and expansion projects are being announced weekly.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is partnering with The University of Texas Southwestern Dallas to oversee development of a new state hospital in North Texas. When completed, the new facility will serve as a psychiatric hospital and expand the state’s health-care capacity by 200 beds. Initial estimates place construction costs at approximately $283 million, but inflation and supply chain issues could drive the cost higher. The goal is to have the new hospital operational by 2025.

University Medical Center of El Paso

Officials representing the El Paso County Hospital District plan to issue $400 million in bonds that will not require voter approval. The bond funds will be used for improvements at the University Medical Center of El Paso. This initiative will include several phases, including expansions of the hospital’s emergency room, cancer center, children’s inpatient department, operating space, and ambulatory surgery services. The bond issuance also will fund construction of a separate neighborhood health clinic in central El Paso. Preliminary plans for that project include 50 exam rooms for primary care and an urgent care center. The facility will provide services to El Paso’s Central and Mission Valley areas.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) will partner with other state agencies to launch a $200 million relocation plan centered around Lemuel Shattuck Hospital. The large state-operated hospital currently supports a 260-bed capacity but needs numerous critical repairs. DPH plans to purchase an existing medical facility that will be renovated to provide a new hospital facility. Acquisition of a site and the renovation phase are scheduled to take place over the next two years.

State officials in Kentucky will invest $20.3 million in land acquisition with the goal of constructing an entirely new medical campus. The University of Kentucky will purchase 27 acres for its new medical facilities. Preliminary plans for the campus include a regional hospital facility and an office building for medical professionals along with space for other clinical facilities in the future.

A regional medical center in Florida’s Palm Beach County recently signed a letter of intent with the University of Florida’s academic health center that will result in transforming the area’s public health resources. The agreement makes way for a new regional clinic and expanded health-care programs and services along Florida’s Atlantic coast. To support the regional medical center’s role in the development, Palm Beach County Health Facilities Authority has pledged $150 million in bond funding.  It will be used to develop the new medical campus facilities, construct a surgical institute, expand an acute care center, and construct a new parking garage with 800 spaces.

The borough of Petersburg, Alaska will replace an outdated health-care facility with a new community-owned hospital. Work on the medical center project is scheduled for design work in 2022, and planners estimate that the project will cost $84 million.

Officials in Pottawattamie County, Iowa are finalizing plans that will result in a new 20,000 square foot health-care facility. The project’s cost has been estimated at $11 million. County officials hope the project can break ground by 2023 and be completed in mid-2024.

The Hospital Facility Authority of Union County, Oregon also has assigned proceeds from a bond sale to new health-care facilities. The funding will allow the county to initiate a Grande Ronde Hospital project with the objective of expanding health-care delivery across several rural communities. An estimated $50 million in bond proceeds are programmed to cover the cost of land acquisition and construction.

In Trego County, Kansas, local voters overwhelmingly approved a bond proposition to authorize funding for critical health-care facility improvements. The bond sale generated $12 million which will be used to improve, renovate, and expand the Trego County-Lemke Memorial Hospital. More expansion is planned to include an acute care wing, a new emergency room, and a physical therapy wing.

The state of Oklahoma’s commission for long-range capital planning has announced its intent to call a bond election in 2023 for two projects that will require $83 million in funding. The state’s network of health resources will be enhanced significantly with the funding for a 100-bed mental health facility in Tulsa. Cost estimates for the design and construction of the facility are placed at $56 million. The remaining $26 million in bond funding will be used to renovate intensive care units and single occupancy rooms at Tulsa’s Oklahoma State University Medical Center.

The Maryland Department of Health plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in its statewide health-care network. The funding will include a one-time allocation of $120 million for several capital construction projects. Most of that sum is earmarked for development of four 24-hour crisis centers. Construction of the public health facilities will begin and end over the next several years.

America’s health-care infrastructure is being upgraded rapidly. While the trend is strong now, it appears that project launches are just beginning. Perhaps it was the pandemic that caused health-care professionals, elected officials, taxpayers, and the public at large to realize that the nation’s health-care infrastructure was overdue for improvement and expansion. Whatever flipped the switch, contractors and equipment providers will find immediate opportunities in every region of the country.