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WVU Medicine planning expansion, relocation of WVU Eye Institute


The WVU Health System Board of Directors recently approved $233.5 million to fund the construction of a multi-center outpatient facility with additional exam and testing rooms.

Flyover shot of JW Ruby Memorial Hospital, part of WVU Medicine Image Credit: AdobeStock/steheap

Image Credit: AdobeStock/steheap

The West Virginia Eye Institute announced it will expand its clinical, educational, and research efforts when it moves into a new location in Morgantown.

According to a university news release, the WVU Health System Board of Directors approved $233.5 million to fund the construction of a multi-center outpatient facility. It will also include a multi-level parking garage with more than 1,100 spaces.1

The university noted the project is subject to regulatory approval.

“We are excited to partner with the Eye Institute to build a world-class facility that can accelerate and expand its mission of providing the most advanced and specialized eye care to the people of West Virginia,” Michael Grace, MBA, EdD, FACHE, said in the news release. “A new structure for the Eye Institute also gives us additional room as we start to plan for the construction of a new cancer hospital that would be part of the J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital medical complex.”

The university noted the construction of the more than 150,000-square-foot facility will allow the WVU Eye Institute to better meet the needs of its patients, as it will result in a substantial increase in exam and testing rooms. The current WVU Eye Institute has 60 exam rooms and 13 testing rooms, according to the news release, and plans for the new Institute include space for 102 exam rooms and 44 testing rooms. The new facility will also include surgical suites.

Thomas Mauger, MD, executive chairman of the WVU Eye Institute and chairman of the WVU Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, pointed out the announcement highlights a future of growth and expansion to serve its patients better, especially for those patients who need our highly specialized eye care.

“We are the only provider in the state and in the neighboring regions in Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania for most of the conditions we treat,” Mauger said.

Artist rendering of WVU Eye Institute Image credit: WVU Medicine

An artist’s rendering of the planned WVU Eye Institute. (Image credit: WVU Medicine)

Moreover, Mauger pointed out the size and scale of the new facility will enable his team to be able to respond better to the brisk demand for the specialized services of the Eye Institute. A larger facility will also enable the Eye Institute to recruit more providers and expand its service offerings. It will increase the number of trainees the Institute can accommodate to continue to grow the next generation of ophthalmologists and will allow for the expansion of clinical research into new treatments for the diseases and conditions that most affect the people of the state and region.1

“Located in a state with the second highest rate of visual disability in the nation, we are discovering new ways to prevent, treat, and slow the progression of incurable eye diseases,” Mauger said. “With this new facility, we will be able to add faculty, space, and funding to continue expanding these efforts — and breaking new ground along the way.”

In a separate news release, Albert L Wright, Jr, president and CEO of the WVU Health System, said the projects collectively are “transformative” and they “represent a giant leap as we continue to build a best-in-class Health System for the people of West Virginia and the broader region.”2

“Our true north remains our commitment to our patients and our ability to serve them in a caring and healing environment, and by expanding the breadth and depth of our programs and infrastructure, we ensure the Health System is well-positioned long-term to meet the needs of our patients,” Wright added.

  1. WVU Medicine. Published August 3, 2022. Accessed April 22, 2024. https://wvumedicine.org/news-feed/news-article/WVU-Medicine/Front-Page/wvu-medicine-to-relocate-expand-wvu-eye-institute/
  2. WVU Medicine. Published August 3, 2022. Accessed April 22, 2024. https://wvumedicine.org/news-feed/news-article/?cat=WVU-Medicine&sec=Front-Page&headline=wvu-medicine-to-invest-nearly-400-million-in-west-virginia-s-healthcare-infrastructure
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