Dartmouth Hitchcock plans major expansion - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Dartmouth Hitchcock plans major expansion

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The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College has out grown its digs. And thanks to generous philanthropic support-- and some borrowing-- a $116.5 million research facility at the nearby Medical Center will provide the needed space to expand.

"We are looking to expand the programs in cancer, we are looking to expand to programs in neuroscience, we are looking to expand the program in Health care policy and clinical practice, we are looking to expand programs in computational medical sciences," says Duane Compton with the Geisel School of Medicine.

And the list goes on. Five floors of the research building will be used for what the medical school calls "translational research"-- looking for breakthroughs of the future while treating the patients today. One floor will be used for pathology. The hospital is contributing $20 million to the overall pricetag -- money officials say they already have in the budget and will make back over time.

"We are doing about 3 million lab tests a year. We have so many that often we are out sourcing many tests to the tune of about $8 million dollars," says Rick Adams with Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

Economics aside, hospital officials say the building will strengthen the already strong relationship between the Medical Center and the College.

"Moving all that research up here really shortens the distance from the bench to the bedside," Adams says.

"You know a big part of education is also discovery," says Compton. "So you know, all the faculty at Dartmouth, at the medical school and the college are involved in some sort of scholarship that's making new discoveries and generating new knowledge."

Groundbreaking for the new facility will take place the spring of this year. Researchers and ultimately patients will end up reaping the benefits in the Fall of 2015.

The facility will be named after Peter Williamson of Lyme. He was a 1958 graduate of Dartmouth College who donated $20 million to the medical school before his passing in 2008.

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