The Duke University Health System will officially open a $12.7 million orthopaedic center near Research Triangle Park today, the latest example of a medical building boom across this region.
While a relatively small part of the Duke medical empire, the Duke Orthopaedic Center is also part of a broader trend of hospital systems opening satellite facilities to improve convenience for patients.
The center is at the intersection of I-40 and Page Road. That's the heart of the Triangle, based on population density, and will make it easier for patients who don't want to travel to Duke's busy main campus, said David Attarian, a Duke orthopaedic surgeon who will help run the new clinic.
And it's close to Raleigh-Durham International Airport, to help attract more national and international patients, he added.
The 60,000-square-foot center will provide physical and occupational therapy, sports medicine and other services. Demand for those services is increasing partly because of baby boomers' expectations of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle for many years, Attarian said.
The center's staff of about 110 physicians and other employees began seeing patients last week. Duke Health system officials, including CEO Victor Dzau, will hold a dedication ceremony at the facility this afternoon.
On its main campus in Durham, Duke Health also is building a $596 million medical tower, a $235 million cancer center and a $55 million learning center.
The system has been able to keep costs of the projects under budget so far by consolidating purchasing and getting better deals. Good weather also has meant few construction delays, which can drive up the total cost.
The cancer center is expected to open in February, but is running slightly ahead of schedule. The new patient tower is expected to open in 2013.
The Triangle's other large hospitals systems, UNC Health Care System and WakeMed, also are expanding with new hospitals and other facilities in Hillsborough, Holly Springs, North Raleigh and elsewhere.