The remarkable growth of the UC Davis Health System Eye Center in the past five years has precipitated a thorough re-evaluation of institutional goals and structures. A new facility, the UC Davis Health System Eye Center Building, is required in order to satisfy demand for clinic and, most particularly, research space.
Since 1998, the number of patients coming to UC Davis’ Sacramento clinics has more than doubled from 22,000 to over 50,000. In a selected recent period (July 2001 to January 2004), research grant funding rose from $8.45 million to $17 million and the number of clinical and drug trials rose from 37 to 66.
While this growth has meant an abundance of opportunities for healing and research, it has also required the eye center to find and utilize suboptimal space and frequently send faculty and staff to remote locations. The situation will only become more difficult as inland California populations and expectations grow.
The UC Davis Health System Eye Center Concept:
But a world-class eye center is not just a big new building with plenty of space. It is an idea that lifts the quality of care and research to a new higher plane. It is a location that focuses the attention of patients and researchers. It is an organizational structure that stimulates the creation of new synergies, new cures, and new technologies for the preservation and restoration of sight. There are certainly great eye institutes and centers for research located elsewhere, but the great opportunity we have now is the creation of an eye center with a new state-of-the-art facility that serves our region while providing new knowledge and new cures for the nation and, indeed, the entire world.
The UC Davis Health System Eye Center Building:
Plans call for the eye center to be housed in a new building located with virtually all of UC Davis’ medical instruction and research facilities on the UC Davis Medical Center campus in Sacramento, California. Current plans call for a 65,000 square-foot facility. When erected, it will provide state-of-the-art clinic and research facilities, laboratories and training facilities. It will offer almost 60% more floor space than the department currently occupies, and it will be space that meets the eye center’s growth projections and technological requirements for many years to come.
The UC Davis Health System Eye Center Campaign:
Although growth plans for the UC Davis Health System Eye Center and the building that will house it are still in preparation, it is certain that the largest proportion of the funds to build the new facility will have to come from private sources. In the coming months, plans will coalesce and the first great leading gifts will be made to make the UC Davis Health System Eye Center Building a reality.