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Jacobson Foundation commits $70M for new patient care tower at UI Hospitals


The University of Iowa announced today that the Richard O. Jacobson Foundation has committed a $70 million gift to the university to support a new patient care building for University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The gift, the largest in the 175-year history of the university, will help UI Health Care expand service to Iowans by increasing patient capacity while modernizing its care facilities. The new building will help UI Health Care to meet the complex care needs of all Iowans, allowing them to receive high-quality care without leaving the state, UI officials said in a press release.

The new patient care tower, planned for UI Health Care’s main campus across from Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, will be named in honor of the late Richard O. Jacobson and his philanthropic legacy, pending approval from the Board of Regents. The building is part of the university’s 10-year revitalization plan that encompasses academic, health care and research buildings on its central campus.

“We are proud to serve Iowa with our state’s only comprehensive academic medical center, providing life-saving and life-changing care to people from across the state and beyond,” said UI President Barbara Wilson. “Richard Jacobson’s commitment to the UI was extraordinary, and this latest and very generous gift on his behalf will allow our exceptional health care team to deliver the highest level of care to all Iowans.”

Featuring single inpatient rooms, state-of-the-art operating rooms, and intensive care unit beds, the new tower will help resolve capacity issues, rising health care demands and aging facilities. UI Hospitals and Clinics is consistently at, and often above, full capacity, which affects iUI Health Care’s ability to care for Iowans, officials said in the release.

“Over the next decade, Iowa will face a health care crisis related to an aging population with complex care needs,” said Brooks Jackson, UI vice president for medical affairs. “This new facility is an important piece of a larger plan to meet these needs, and this visionary gift will positively impact the lives of Iowans throughout the state for generations to come.”

Richard “Dick” Orrin Jacobson, who grew up in Belmond, received the UI Distinguished Alumni Award in 2000 for his support of the university.

Jacobson’s giving to UI during his lifetime and through his foundation totals more than $86 million and includes support for the Iowa Reading Research Center, the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business, and Hawkeye athletics. The Richard O. Jacobson Football Operations Building is named in recognition of his football program support. Previous support for UI Health Care includes gifts to UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, the UI Stead Family Department of Pediatrics, and to support the pandemic response.

The Board of Regents has granted UI permission to proceed with its 10-year facilities plan, including the new UI Hospitals and Clinics patient care building. The university will request permission to name the tower in recognition of Richard O. Jacobson’s legacy of giving at the board’s Feb. 23 meeting. The plans and budget for the patient tower will go to the board at a future date.

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