Inova takes steps to create personalized health ‘ecosystem’
On the former Exxon Mobil campus in Fairfax County, Inova Health System has plans for an “ecosystem” to develop health care startups and build a research hub for treatments tailored to patients’ genetic makeups, environments and lifestyles.
In September, the county Board of Supervisors approved updates to Inova’s expansion plans for the site. The county’s newly approved Comprehensive Plan envisions another 3.8 million square feet in possible development plans for the 117-acre campus, now called the Center for Personalized Health.
The long-range goal, according to Inova officials, is to create “an ecosystem for academic, commercial, research, technology and other partners to flourish and collaborate with one another and our clinicians.”
Inova expects the first phase of development to be completed during the next 25 years.
In addition to more academic and research space at its campus, there are plans for housing, retail and hotels. Inova is a leading health-care provider in Northern Virginia — and the largest nonprofit employer in Fairfax County. The health system already has entered into a comprehensive research and medical educational partnership with George Mason University and the University of Virginia.
Alexander Prevost, a spokesperson for the U.Va. Health System, says most of the new research “will be centered around the Global Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Institute [GGBRI] and the potential treatments that arise from the research conducted.” GGBRI’s focus is on projects related to genetics, genomics, bioengineering, systems biology, developmental biology and computational biology. An Inova building is being retrofitted to house the institute, with construction expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020.
Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, calls the Center for Personalized Health “a huge magnet for talented medical professionals and scientists who want to change and improve health care.” He predicts that “the whole area of personalized medicine will open up. This is going to be a long-term opportunity. It’s a competitive process and we’re going to continue to do it until we win.”
By 2035, Inova estimates that activity related to the campus will generate $1.18 billion in economic impact, including $68 million in local and state tax revenue.