ICYMI: CA: St. Jude plans $1.2 billion Memphis expansion
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital plans a massive expansion in Memphis that in six years could add more than $1 billion in construction for its campus and swell its workforce by 2,000 people.
Dr. James R. Downing, the chief executive officer, described the new six-year strategic plan for St. Jude during an interview today.
The construction and hiring reflect an ambitious agenda for expanding the number of children treated, the research and the international outreach at St. Jude, an agenda that Downing outlined when he was promoted to CEO in mid-2014.
The expansion would bring employment at St. Jude and its affiliated fundraising organization, ALSAC, to 7,400 in Memphis from the current 5,400.
A seven-month strategic planning process, including approval by St. Jude’s board of governors in June, produced a 2016-2021 strategic plan representing a total $9 billion investment including additional payrolls in St. Jude and ALSAC.
“It really is, between St. Jude and ALSAC a $9 billion investment into our operations,” Downing said.
“Seven billion of that is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and approximately $2 billion is ALSAC, and this is new employees, new programs, new construction.”
However, the plans depend on a stable economy and ALSAC’s ability to raise the funds, with the expansion serving as a fund-raising stimulus.
Key elements of the six-year strategic plan include:
- Increase the number of new pediatric cancer patients treated on the Memphis Downtown-area campus by almost 20 percent, from about 500 to 600.
- Increase the St. Jude faculty and staff, currently about 4,200, by more than 1,000 and ALSAC’s staff, currently 1,200, by about 1,000.
- Double the number of patients enrolled in St. Jude clinical trials testing treatments in Memphis and around the globe. “By increasing the number of patients that are enrolled in those clinical trials, we can complete them in shorter periods of time, accelerate progress and then design the next trial to accelerate progress,” Downing said.
- Enhance the experience of patients and families on the 66-acre campus. A new patient experience office is being set up and construction of new housing facility is planned.
- A Website offering information to children and families around the globe. “We want to create the authoritative site on the Web for families anywhere in the world for them to get the information they need,” he said.
- Bring a major focus to diseases other than cancer, particularly sickle cell anemia.
- Building on St. Jude’s Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, becoming the world leader in precision medicine.
- Starting a graduate degree program for a PhD in biomedical research.
- Expanding St. Jude’s International Outreach Program, now in 17 different countries, to develop pediatric cancer treatment.