The University of Minnesota Proposes New Academic Health Care Center in Duluth


DULUTH, Minn. – The University of Minnesota is proposing to build a new academic health care center in Duluth.

According to a Thursday news release, the University is asking for $12 million as part of its 2022 legislative request to conduct the design phase of the proposed facility.

The University’s Medical and Pharmacy schools offer programs on the UMD campus and a 2018 feasibility study showed a need for both programs to expand to meet the growing demand for health care professionals in the region.

“The University of Minnesota is committed to expanding our capacity to provide world-class care for Minnesotans in Greater Minnesota,” said University President Joan Gabel. “Through this important partnership, we are amplifying the University’s impact and contribution to communities by creating new space for classrooms, specialty labs, student life and beyond with a goal to make it available by fall 2025.”

University leaders say a new building in close proximity to St. Luke’s and Essentia Health would foster opportunities for collaboration for students and offer opportunities for clinical faculty of both the Medical and Pharmacy programs to practice in the region.

“This opportunity is in line with our land-grant mission and our continued commitment to Greater Minnesota and the Duluth region, specifically. We are thankful for the opportunity to discuss how academic medicine, including training and clinical research, can enhance the great care provided to Minnesotans in the region,” said Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D., vice president for clinical affairs at the University of Minnesota and dean of the U of M Medical School.

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson says she first met with the U of M two years ago about the possibility of expanding into the Duluth medical district.

“From day one, it has been a conversation rooted in the possible, and we are deeply grateful to the University for making this level of commitment to Duluth,” said Emily Larson, Mayor of Duluth. “During this unprecedented time of economic investment in our City, we hope this design will lead to the construction of a new world-class education center, embedded in a renowned medical setting serving Greater Minnesota. Literally, everyone wins with this expansion: the patients, the students, the community, and the University.”

This proposal is part of the University’s $935.6 million state capital request for the 2022 legislative session.

Each program and project in the request aims to accelerate and strengthen the University of Minnesota’s unique ability to address the most pressing challenges facing Minnesotans, today and into the future.

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