After more than two years of construction, the Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine plan to open a $140 million outpatient center that has been designed to make medical treatment easier for an estimated 300,000 patients a year.
Located at 601 N. Caroline St. just west of Hopkins' domed Billings Administration Building, the eight-story facility will open May 18. A tunnel connects the new building to the rest of the Hopkins complex and to the subway line that will begin operation in the mid-1990s.
The design of the center is intended to simplify registration and treatment of patients who go to Hopkins for care but are not admitted overnight. Outpatients will be able to register once instead of repeatedly if they need more than one test and will be able to go to one place for assistance.
In the past, outpatients often had to put up with long waits as they completed procedures in various departments, Hopkins officials say.
"The goal is a positive patient experience," said Steven Lipstein, director of the center. "We know that we can go a long way to reducing the stress, anxiety and frustration that often accompanies a visit for health care."
One of the largest facilities of its kind on the East Coast, the outpatient center has 191 patient exam rooms, 68 procedure rooms, 28 radiology imaging rooms, 12 blood-drawing stations and eight operating rooms.
The official name of the Johns Hopkins outpatient center will be the Robert M. Heyssel Building, named in honor of the president of both the hospital and the Johns Hopkins Health System.
Dr. Heyssel is retiring June 30 after a 20-year career with Hopkins.
A dedication ceremony for the new building will be held May 8 at 2 p.m., followed later that day by a farewell dinner for Dr. Heyssel at Hopkins' Bayview campus.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for employees of the hospital and medical school will be held May 11 at 2 p.m.
Payette Associates of Boston was the architect of the 450,000-square-foot building, which is owned jointly by the hospital and the school of medicine.
The George Hyman Construction Co., the builder, completed work four months ahead of schedule.