BJC Institute of Health established at Washington University with $30 million gift

A $30 million gift from BJC HealthCare will help construct a new 11-story research building on the campus of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. This is the largest donation ever received for construction of a building at the School of Medicine. To be named the BJC Institute of Health at Washington University, the building will house the laboratories and support facilities for BioMed 21, the University’s research initiative to rapidly translate basic research findings into advances in medical treatment.

Artist's rendering of a rooftop view of the new BJC Institute of Health at Washington University
Artist’s rendering of a rooftop view of the new BJC Institute of Health at Washington University

“The BJC Institute of Health at Washington University will be home to research that brings together gifted physicians, scientists and researchers with a common goal – to find new and better ways to improve human health, including new treatments and potential cures for the diseases most prevalent in our society,” says Steven H. Lipstein, BJC president and chief executive officer. “This Institute will provide the opportunity to translate medical discoveries into everyday patient care for the benefit of our entire community.”

BJC HealthCare, a Missouri non-profit corporation and one of the largest nonprofit health care provider organizations in the United States, supports interdisciplinary, collaborative research that tackles major health problems. BioMed 21 exemplifies this type of research and brings together researchers and physician-scientists from specialties that span the breadth of medical and basic science disciplines.

“BJC HealthCare’s gift to the University for this building is an investment in the talent and dedication of the researchers who will occupy it and those who collaborate with them,” says Washington University Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “The facility will foster new ideas and creative solutions that will dramatically change medical care in the future. We are truly appreciative of BJC HealthCare’s forward-looking commitment.”

The BioMed 21 initiative was begun in 2003, establishing a set of research goals to tackle key medical challenges and creating an administrative structure that enables scientists from different specialties, or disciplines, to cooperate more effectively. The BJC Institute of Health at Washington University will provide laboratory space for five newly created Interdisciplinary Research Centers of BioMed 21 and two academic departments at the School of Medicine.

“The School of Medicine’s researchers are constantly seeking to identify and understand the underlying causes of disease,” says Larry J. Shapiro, M.D., executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “Naturally, our goal is that these endeavors will form the foundation of new treatments and new cures. Reaching that goal as quickly as possible is the promise of BioMed 21 and the true benefit of the new building. We thank BJC HealthCare for support that will help make this possible.”

The five Interdisciplinary Research Centers, which comprise School of Medicine researchers from a wide variety of fields, are devoted to cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, infectious diseases and membrane excitability disorders, which encompass neural, cardiac, and other conditions.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

BJC HealthCare is one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States, delivering services to residents primarily in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions. With net revenues of $2.9 billion, BJC serves urban, suburban and rural communities and includes 13 hospitals and other health service organizations. Services include inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care and hospice.