UNC Hospitals Wants
to Build New Bed Tower
Pharmacy School Named for Fred Eshelman ’ 72
UNC Hospitals plans to ask the
state for permission, and some of
the money, to expand not far
from the site of the original N.C. Memorial Hospital on the campus.
It wants to add a 321-bed tower just
south of the main tower built in 1975 to
alleviate pressure from increased demand
that keeps the hospital nearly full. Currently there are many days when patients
come into the emergency room who
need to be admitted and cannot, said
spokesperson Karen McCall.
The hospital often can’t accommodate
a patient who needs a bed for a particular
type of care, and it also has had to turn
away transfers from other hospitals,
The hospital now has 727 beds. It
already has the state’s permission to convert offices and other space to patient
rooms to get to 799 beds by 2010. That
includes the 50 beds in the N.C. Cancer
Hospital now under construction.
If the additional project is approved,
the total number of patient beds would be
1,009 by 2014. The hospital also would
replace some outdated rooms that lack
sophisticated monitoring equipment. The
new tower would have 38 surgery and
“We have more people coming here
every day than we can accommodate,”
McCall said. “We just feel it’s absolutely
critical for us to expand our capacity so
we can fulfill our mission.”
In midspring, the hospital was running
more than 89 percent full, McCall said.
The ideal capacity is 75 percent to
The new tower would cost about
$732 million, of which UNC Health Care
is asking the state for $325.5 million over
several years. The hospital system would
borrow and use reserves for the rest.
N.C. Memorial opened in 1953 just to
the north of the 1975 bed tower. The
original building still is in use.
UNC Hospitals also is looking at
building additional ambulatory care facilities in Chatham and Wake counties and
possibly other sites dictated by population
concentration, McCall said.
Carolina has its second “named”
The UNC School of Pharmacy
has been renamed the UNC Eshelman
School of Pharmacy after Fred Eshelman
’ 72, founder and chief executive officer of
Wilmington-based PPD Inc. The company
specializes in managing clinical trials for
the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and
medical device industries.
Eshelman, who earned a bachelor’s
degree in pharmacy at Carolina, donated
$20 million to the school in 2003. His gift
funded five $1 million distinguished professorships, six scholarships for doctor of pharmacy students and eight fellowships for
graduate students. Eshelman’s gift went
toward the construction of 70,000 square
feet of laboratory space in the University’s
Genetic Medicine Building and the renovation of Beard Hall. Eshelman also created
a fund to encourage innovation, which
funds a new initiative or idea each year.
In 2007, Eshelman pledged another $10
million to start the school’s new centers
that will focus on cancer research. His gift
was matched by the University Cancer
Research Fund to pursue new cancer treatments. Eshelman’s total gifts to the school
amount to nearly $33 million.
Eshelman has been a member of the
pharmacy school’s board of visitors for
more than a decade and has given lectures
in the school as an adjunct faculty member.
The other named professional school at
Carolina is the Kenan-Flagler Business
School, renamed in 1991. Later this year,
the School of Public Health is set to be
named for Dennis and Joan Gillings, who
gave the school $50 million in 2007.
UNC Gets Large NIH Grant to Cut Lab-to-Clinic Time
Carolina has received a $61 million
grant from the National Institutes
of Health that is designed to speed
how scientific discoveries directly benefit
patients in communities across North Carolina.
UNC is among 14 academic health
centers in 11 states to join the ranks of the
NIH’s Clinical and Translational Science
Award consortium. By creating a network
of medical research institutions across the
nation, the consortium aims to reduce the
time it takes for laboratory discoveries to
become treatments for patients, engage
communities in clinical research efforts, and
help train the next generation of clinical
and translational researchers.
For example, the grant will make possible the establishment and operation of
community research units, one of which
already is operating in Greensboro. Local
physicians will be able to refer patients to
these units, giving the patients access to
new treatments and therapeutic programs,
while also allowing researchers opportunities to better evaluate their effectiveness.
“This institute will transform the way
research is performed in our state,” said Dr.
William L. Roper, dean of the School of
Medicine, vice chancellor for medical affairs
and chief executive officer of UNC Health
Care. “The initiative will bridge science and
clinical practice and speed up the movement of innovations from the laboratory
bench to the bedside and the community.”
This initiative is campuswide, drawing
on the diverse expertise of doctors and clinicians, biomedical researchers, and a broad
spectrum of experts from public health, the
social sciences, information technology and
N.C. Central, N.C. A&T State, N.C.
State and East Carolina universities and
UNC-Charlotte also will be involved.