Klotman At Work

Medical turnaround: Baylor College of Medicine finds a use for its glimmering, empty hospital

Medical turnaround: Baylor College of Medicine finds a use for its glimmering, empty hospital

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The yet-unnamed Baylor College of Medicine Specialty Care Center is complete on the outside, and completely empty on the inside.  Courtesy of Baylor College of Medicine
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In the initial stages of planning for the hospital on the McNair Campus, trees were carefully preserved.  Courtesy of Sky Cam Aerial Photography Inc./Baylor College of Medicine
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The recently-named Lee and Joe Jamail Specialty Care Center.  Courtesy of Baylor College of Medicine
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News_Baylor College of Medicine_McNair Campus_March 2012
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When Dr. Paul Klotman joined the Baylor College of Medicine as president and CEO in late 2010, he had quite a task ahead of him. Beyond a broken budget and a financial mess, an incomplete hospital — its construction fell casualty to the recession — lay fallow in a beautiful and underutilized campus. 

A history of successful turnarounds made Klotman the man for the job. CultureMap followed the progress throughout his first year, and the successes piled up: A better system of internal communication, a drastic budgetary improvement and the recruitment of top-tier medical researchers in tropical medicine (which will see its first students on June 18), endocrinology and neuroscience.

 Klotman and the board of trustees look to philanthropic backing to support the McNair campus' further development — just $100 million will earn naming rights. 

Baylor College of Medicine's bottom line is looking stronger by the week. The outpatient center, which opened on the college's McNair Campus in Nov. 2008, was designated the Lee and Joe Jamail Specialty Care Center recently.  

As for the future of the neighboring shell of the ill-fated hospital: The board's approved further developments.

Instead of the hospital that was initially intended, though, the space is now destined for a different role. The glimmering, empty building just south of the Texas Medical Center will be an outpatient center, dedicated to ambulatory, short-stay cases, and will combine more than 300,000 square feet of medical offices from leased spaces around the city.

"At this time, Houston does not need any more traditional hospital beds," Klotman said in a statement. "We will continue to evaluate the situation in the future as needs of the community change. With this adaptable approach, we are well prepared for whatever changes result from health care reform."

Klotman and the board of trustees look to philanthropic backing to support the McNair campus' further development — just $100 million will earn naming rights — and tout the cost savings associated with moving medical offices out of leased spaces and into a ready-and-waiting building. 

Build-out of the interior is expected to commence in June, as soon as the Baylor College of Medicine gets approval and philanthropic commitments necessary for completion. 

Medical offices will be moving from leased space into the new building as early as 2013. These outpatient clinics, diagnostic services and ambulatory surgery will take up 400,000 square feet — a little less than half of the available space. 

In regards to long-term plans, Klotman already sees a need for additional growth in the next 10 years: Additional educational and research space, with flexibility for future decisions in health care reform.

"In the long run, I think the individual mandate would be the right thing for the country," Klotman told CultureMap. He says that more people covered by insurance means more patients will have access to the care they need.