Methodist dedicates new tower after longtime CEO

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare officially named its new $275 million tower after longtime CEO Gary Shorb at a ceremony Tuesday morning. Employees also signed a ceremonial beam to place as crews hit the halfway point in construction.

Shorb worked for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare for more than two decades, serving as President and CEO from 2001 until 2016.

"I am just so appreciative and grateful for this recognition," he said.

The hospital system calls the Gary Shorb Tower one of the most transformational project ever in the Memphis Medical District.

"We hope this will spur a lot of development around here. We have put our flag here, there's no question," Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare President and CEO Michael Ugwueke said. "This is a statement that we are here to stay."

The new tower will consolidate all transplant services into an inpatient and outpatient transplant institute and also create a comprehensive cancer center. The development includes larger patient rooms, combined outpatient care, and a new parking plaza.

The existing Crews Wing will be demolished to allow construction of two gardens.

"What this represents is a major milestone in our evolution over the years to continue to serve the community," said Ugwueke.

The Gary Shorb Tower is set to be complete in December 2018 with an official move-in date set for sometime in early 2019.

Methodist's expansion is just the latest among healthcare providers in the Mid-South.

Baptist Memorial Health Care announced a $19 million emergency department expansion in DeSoto County in March and last September, it broke ground on a $25 million hospital in Crittenden County, Arkansas.

In late 2015, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital first announced it would expand and add jobs in downtown Memphis in a 6 year strategic plan worth at least $7 billion.

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