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UNC Health Care breaks ground on easy-to-access Eastowne medical building in Chapel Hill

UNC Health Care breaks ground on Eastowne medical building

UNC Health Care, Chapel Hill and Orange County leaders broke ground on a new Eastowne Medical Office Building near the Interstate 40 and U.S. 15-501 interchange.
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UNC Health Care, Chapel Hill and Orange County leaders broke ground on a new Eastowne Medical Office Building near the Interstate 40 and U.S. 15-501 interchange.

Work has begun on a six-story, 150,000-square-foot UNC Eastowne Medical Office Building near the interchange of I-40 and U.S. 15-501.

UNC Health Care ceremonially broke ground Tuesday afternoon on the new facility that will house primary and specialty services on a nearly 50-acre parcel of land.

“We in the town are so pleased,” Mayor Pam Hemminger said. “That such a premiere health organization as UNC would call us home makes us very proud.”

Also present Tuesday were Town Council members Rachel Schaevitz, Michael Parker, Karen Stegman and Nancy Oates; Chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Commissioners Penny Rich; and Town Manager Maurice Jones.

The building will house specialty practices such as cardiology, pulmonary, endocrinology and hematology. There will be a urology clinic, outpatient imaging and laboratory. The center will also have a cafe kiosk and retail pharmacy.

This is the first of several buildings that UNC Health Care has planned for the property. UNC Health Care and Chapel Hill are working to define a long-term vision for the area that aligns with the values in the Town of Chapel Hill Strategic Plan and the 2020 Comprehensive Plan.

“Thank you to UNC Health Care for investing in our community,” said Creighton Blackwell, chairman of the board for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce. “You could have chosen to build this elsewhere. You did not. Thank you for that. Because you chose to make sure you invested here.”

UNC Rex Healthcare will start construction mid-March 2019 on a seven-story, 50-bed hospital in the Wake County suburb of Holly Springs — an expansion that is part of UNC Health Care’s on-going efforts to serve the Triangle’s growing edges.

Blackwell also thanked the Town Council for approving the project and partnering with UNC on it.

Dr. A. Wesley Burks, dean of the UNC School of Medicine and chief executive officer of UNC Health Care, noted that Eastowne has much easier access than the UNC Hospitals complex on the university campus.

“It’s a site that’s easily accessible from the street here,” Burks said. “Less congestion, and easy access to Interstate 40, which helps continue to fulfill our mission to promote the health of the people of North Carolina.”

Regina Jones, a former cancer patient, and a member of the Patient and Family Advisory Council, spoke about how the center will improve the experience for patients.

“As a patient,” she said, “you can see why having one site, one place to be in all day long, because you see multiple doctors, is very important.

“Cancer patients often seek treatment from a number of physicians during the same visit,” she explained. “These appointments can be difficult to navigate in a large hospital. But with the 15-plus specialties they’re going to have here at Eastowne, among other services, patients can easily receive the care they need in one location, instead of having to travel from one place to another.”

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