HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. -- The digging began Thursday at the site of a St. Elizabeth Physicians medical office building at the gateway to Northern Kentucky University.
The land on Nunn Drive consisting of dirt and shovels will be home to a 70,000-square-foot facility by early 2020. Dr. Robert Prichard, CEO of St. Elizabeth Physicians, said the goal of the new medical building is to improve access to healthcare in the Tri-State community.
"Our vision is to lead Northern Kentucky to be one of the healthiest communities in the country," he said during a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday.
According to a report from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Kentucky ranks 40th in the U.S. in terms of a primary care physicians workforce. NKU President Ashish Vaidya said location is key in making physicians more available to patients.
"This region has significant challenges with respect to population health," he said. "If we need to make advances in improving health outcomes for this community and this region, we have to be where the people are."
The facility will offer urgent care, primary care and specialty physicians. It will also include an OrthoCincy office for physical therapy and orthopedic care.
The St. Elizabeth medical office is Phase I of the Town Center mixed-use space that will greet NKU students and visitors. The campus gateway will include new restaurants, retail space, apartments, a hotel and updated parking.
"This development has been a long time coming, and it is a great example of an innovative public-private partnership," Vaidya said.
The Town Center project for NKU's gateway is being built along U.S. 27 and Nunn Drive in partnership with Fairmount Properties.