The University of Rochester Medical Center broke ground Thursday on what they say is the centerpiece of its Orthopaedics and Physical Performance Center at Marketplace Mall.
A four-story patient care tower will be the heart of the state-of-the-art 19.1-acre medical campus located on the east side of the mall, where Sears used to occupy. The tower is designed for what URMC describes as “next-generation orthopaedic care,” same-day surgical procedures and holistic treatments that will support injury prevention and overall wellness.
Dr. Paul Rubery, chairman of the URMC Orthopaedic Department, said the Marketplace Mall location was not only based on accessibility, but also possible economic advancements.
“It's going to bring people here (the mall) for lots of reasons,” said Rubery. “We think that's going to allow for new businesses to arise in a number of areas.”
URMC Orthopaedics sees almost a quarter-million patient visits per year. Within the last three years, the department has provided care for more than 150,000 patients from outside the Rochester area.
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said the center is the prototype for the county’s plan to decentralize human services.
“It’s a new model that we're looking at for all sorts of services as part of our human service redesign at the county,” Bello said.
He said the goal is to transplant community-based needs into areas that are more accessible to residents like the Marketplace Mall.
Steven Schultz, Henrietta town supervisor, said the medical campus is the first step towards transitioning the mall from retail to a multi-use facility. He said locating in Henrietta is ideal for accessibility.
“Henrietta is at the crossroads of Monroe County with the expressways meeting here,” Schultz said. “It's a great location for what's going to be a regional facility and probably even draw from beyond the region.”
Schultz said the next step towards making the mall a multi-use facility will be the construction of a senior living complex located in the former General Cinemas theater.