The UM System Board of Curators’ Health Affairs Committee discussed plans for a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital building and outlined a three-phase process to consolidate MU Health Care operations into a single campus in a meeting Thursday.

The first phase of the plan, which spans from September 2020 to September 2021, includes expanding the existing University Hospital campus, beginning plans for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and moving pediatric services to the University Hospital campus. Moving pediatric services will allow for $25 million in operational savings from 2021 to 2024, Jonathan Curtright, MU Health Care CEO, said. Construction on the new building will begin in May 2021.

The second phase, planned for December 2023 to July 2024, will include the completed construction of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital by summer and transitioning the remaining Women’s and Children’s services, including obstetrics and neonatal intensive care, once the new building is complete. The committee unanimously approved a recommendation to the board and its Finance Committee to consolidate those services.

The new building is scheduled to open in June 2024.

Curtright said the new building will have 97,000 square feet of shelled space, which will eventually allow the hospital to expand and open up space as needed in the future.

The total budget for the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital is $232 million, which includes construction, contingency, design and architecture, equipment and other costs, and has $250 million in total projected funding. The committee unanimously approved a recommendation for the board’s Finance Committee to issue $200 million of debt financing for the hospital’s construction.

Richard Barohn, MU executive vice chancellor for health affairs, touched on highlights from NextGen Precision Health, including the updated branding and naming. Barohn said $36.5 million has been raised for the initiative so far, and fundraising efforts will continue. He also announced the monthly NextGen PH Discovery Education Seminar Series, which will begin in January.

The committee unanimously approved a recommendation to the board and its Finance Committee to consolidate Women’s and Children’s services onto the university campus.

Athletics annual report

MU Athletics ran at a $4.6 million operational budget deficit for the 2019-20 academic year, MU Athletic Director Jim Sterk said in a Tuesday report to the board’s Academic, Student Affairs, Research and Economic Development Committee.

Sterk also reported a a 3.19 average GPA in fall 2019 and a 3.51 average in spring 2020. Those are the top two semester averages in athletics history, he said.

  • Fall 2020 Education Reporter Studying Investigative Journalism Reach me at, in the newsroom at (573) 882-5700 or on Twitter @rsandurkar731

  • Galen Bacharier is an assistant city editor at the Missourian. He has reported on higher education, state government and breaking news. Reach him at or on Twitter @galenbacharier.

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