November 19, 2013

From the Vice Chancellor's Suggestion Box

Suggestion: Would it be a good idea to postpone or cancel space projects and renovations during this period of financial challenge?

I would agree that in some instances, such delays are appropriate.

However, this doesn’t mean all construction and renovation should stop. We have approximately 10 million square feet of space in the Medical Center. Like in our homes, there are occasions we make financial decisions to delay upgrades to existing space we’d all like to see sooner than later. However, large portions of our space receive significant wear and tear on an ongoing basis. We must assure we take good care of these facilities and perform preventive maintenance and refurbishment in an ongoing manner, recognizing patient safety always comes first. In some cases we are choosing to adapt or repurpose existing space rather than build new construction. And with every decision, we try to take the long-term view, focusing on the approach that will best serve the ever-changing needs of our patients, staff, students and faculty.

We also should recognize that not only renovations, but even some new construction projects, will proceed even as we are downsizing in many areas. Highly strategic growth in key areas where we are certain there is a mandate to expand our services to meet strong demand is essential to our leadership in health care, research and education, locally and nationally. And by continuously refurbishing existing space to make our physical plant more attractive, efficient and better able to meet the needs of our patients, we secure and grow our marketplace leadership, also fundamental to our financial strength and stability.

Space is an arena where I continuously work very closely with our leadership team as we strive to obtain the optimal return from every dollar invested.

Have a suggestion to make VUMC better? Submit it to the Vice Chancellor's Suggestion Box at http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/root/vumc.php?site=suggestionbox.