LOWER MERION, Pa. (CBS) — Lankenau Hospital, now known as Lankenau Medical Center, broke ground today on an ambitious $529-million expansion of its 92-acre campus that will be the cornerstone of a multi-year master plan for the facility.

lankenau expansion artist render Lankenau Kicks Off Half Billion Dollar Expansion Project

(Artist's rendering, provided)

Jack Lynch (third from right in top photo) is president and CEO of Main Line Health, which owns the hospital.  He says the expansion began 18 months ago and continues with this new “patient pavilion” for heart, vascular, and lung care:

“The new pavilion will enable our medical team to provide seamless, coordinated medical care in a technologically advanced, comfortable environment.  It will foster the integration of research education to advance the state of medicine even further.  It’s all about compassion.  We’re not going to lose sight of the high tech, but you’re going to feel that compassionate, high-touch care.”

And research is clearly key for Lankenau, particularly following FDA approval for the Lankenau Institute of Research’s new drug Dabigatran, which doctors hope will prevent blood clots in patients.

Lynch explains the hospital’s decision to change its name:

“The activity of the research and education coupled with the patient care on this campus.  That, we think, more accurately describes a medical center, versus the great work that goes on in hospitals every day.”

Scores of jobs will be created in this $529-million expansion, which Lynch says is backed by millions of dollars in reserve funds — resulting in very little debt for Lankenau.

Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio.

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