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University of Utah Health breaks ground on James LeVoy Sorenson Center for Medical Innovation

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Kathy Wilets
Senior Director, Public Affairs, University of Utah Health

SALT LAKE CITY UTAH—Upon its completion in 2026, the James LeVoy Sorenson Center for Medical Innovation (SCMI), will serve as a beacon of transformative research and medical device innovation. The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on May 24, 2024, at 11 a.m., located at 27 South Mario Capecchi Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84112.

Named in honor of James LeVoy Sorenson, a prolific inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, the SCMI will pay tribute to his remarkable legacy. With over 50 patents issued in his name, Sorenson revolutionized the standard of care with inventions such as the disposable surgical face cover, the single-use intravenous catheter and hemodynamic arterial monitoring devices.

This state-of-the-art facility will also aid in U of U Health’s unwavering commitment to advancing medical science and improving patient care.

"The James LeVoy Sorenson Center for Medical Innovation exemplifies our commitment to entrepreneurialism and accelerating the transfer of the U’s research into practical use," said University of Utah President Taylor Randall. "The center will promote collaboration and drive transformative advancements in medical care and device development. The facility will be a national leader and have influence that reaches well beyond campus, shaping the future of health care for generations to come."

The $50 million facility has been made possible by a generous lead gift of $22 million from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation.

“The Sorenson Legacy Foundation is so pleased that this wonderful building, the James LeVoy Sorenson Center for Medical Innovation, will carry on my father’s incredible spirit of medical device innovation, as well as his compassionate spirit toward those who suffer,” said Ann Sorenson Crocker, family representative of the Sorenson Legacy Foundation.  

Additionally, the chair of the Center for Medical Innovation’s board, Gary Crocker said, “this new facility honors not only Jim’s fundamental contributions to the creation of the medical device industry in Utah and nationally, but also ensures that his legacy of innovation and his relentless pursuit of excellence continues to inspire future students and innovators.” 

"My father’s passion for innovation and commitment to improving health care have left an indelible mark on the world,” said Jim Sorenson, chairman of the Sorenson Impact Foundation. “This center not only honors his memory but also carries forward his legacy of innovation and impact, ensuring that his pioneering spirit lives on in the work of future generations."

Hosted on four levels totaling nearly 60,000 square feet of space, the Sorenson Center for Medical Innovation will include:

  • Advanced prototyping and clean room assembly labs dedicated to creating and refining groundbreaking medical innovations.
  • Vibrant collaboration spaces fostering cross-campus interdisciplinary cooperation and fueling the drive for transformative innovation and discovery.
  • A state-of-the-art clinical bio-tissue surgery discovery suite enabling physicians, faculty and staff to evaluate and refine new medical technologies and procedures in a hands-on, accessible, real-world environment.
  • Startup incubator spaces expressly designed to nurture university spinouts and student startups. These high-potential startups will drive technology licensing opportunities for the university and economic growth for the state.

"This center represents more than just a building; it's a gateway to endless possibilities for future students," said Mark Paul, executive director of the Center for Medical Innovation. "By providing access to cutting-edge research facilities, mentorship opportunities and a vibrant community of innovators, this center will empower students to pursue their passion for medical innovation and make a tangible difference in the world. It's not just about shaping the future of health care; it's about shaping the lives of the students who will lead it."

With the groundbreaking ceremony marking the beginning of construction, U of U Health looks forward to the transformative impact that the James LeVoy Sorenson Center for Medical Innovation will have on medical research, patient care and the lives of future generations.

For more information about the Center for Medical Innovation, click here.

About University of Utah Health

University of Utah Health is the state’s only academic health care system, providing leading-edge and compassionate care for a referral area that encompasses 10% of the U.S., including Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and much of Nevada. A hub for health sciences research and education in the region, U of U Health has a $522 million research enterprise and trains the majority of Utah’s physicians, including more than 1,460 health care providers each year at its Colleges of Health, Nursing and Pharmacy and Schools of Dentistry and Medicine. 

With more than 20,000 employees, the system includes 12 community clinics and five hospitals: University Hospital, Huntsman Mental Health Institute, Huntsman Cancer Hospital, University Orthopaedic Center and the Craig H. Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital. For 14 straight years, U of U Health has ranked among the top 10 U.S. academic medical centers in the rigorous Vizient Quality and Accountability Study.