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Real Estate Bisnow
June 16, 2008



Inova Fairfax med students (from the hospital’s partnership with Virginia Commonwealth) have a building to call their very own. It’s four-stories and cost $25 million, with the top two floors still being completed. We visited its official opening recently: What we saw were high-tech simulation centers, computer-controlled mannequins, and a string quartet (though that might have just been there for the event).


Inova President Knox Singleton, Board of Trustees Chairman Peter Arntson, VCU President Eugene Trani, VCU med school student David Paik, and Inova Fairfax EVP Reuven Pasternak all spoke. Knox hopes to be back on the podium this month to announce the completion of the building’s integrated research center.


We snapped this of Inova’s Executive Director of Research Zobair Younossi and Chief Nurse Executive Karen Drenkard on the first floor, but Zobair’s mind was two more stories up where the research lab he will lead is still under construction.  Once it’s open, look for genomic mapping and a combination of clinical trials/translation research/outcomes research not available anywhere else in Virginia.  Karen’s department is also doing research, such as on pain management. As she puts it, “Not that we don’t like getting spaced on Vicodin, but sometimes ice can work just as well.”  


Inova’s VP of Government Relations, Don Harris, with Fairfax County Healthcare Advisory Board Chairman Marlene Blum and Inova Board of Trustees Chairman Steve Cumby: Because any new public hospital building hinges on Virginia Senate approval, Don’s lobbying played a critical role.  He worked the floor to a 20-20 tie, meaning then-Lieutenant Governor Tim Kaine became the decider. (Did Harris promise Kaine the governorship in exchange for the yes vote?  No. But a news publication can dream, can’t it?) Since the hospital is built on county land, the approval of Marlene’s board was also a necessity, but having been an Inova patient herself, her support came much easier than the Senate’s.

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