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August 13, 2019

UNC Healthcare Embraces Innovation at Panther Creek

Nestled at the edge of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, an area famed for innovation, the popular suburban community of Cary consistently ranks among the nation’s most desirable places for active families. It is here that UNC Healthcare Panther Creek is embracing prefabrication to bring its new ambulatory surgery center online more quickly, addressing the growing community’s need for greater access to healthcare. By using a robust virtual design and construction program along with the use of prefabricated plumbing, electrical, and conduit materials, as well as tilt-up walls, DPR Construction is able to deliver the project one to two months quicker than if using traditional methods.

A robust virtual design and construction program coupled with prefabricated materials helps deliver UNC Healthcare’s new ambulatory surgery center more quickly than traditional methods. Photo courtesy of Mindy Hetman

“The real story here goes deeper than the prefabrication itself. It was really about the modeling and coordination efforts done before we even stepped foot onsite,” says Superintendent Daniel Wrenn. “All penetrations, all hangers and embeds were already in place before we poured any slabs or decks. The day after we poured the deck, we were able to start the rough-in—in-wall and overhead. Normally, you’ve got weeks of layout and putting up your hangers before you can put the first piece of material up. Instead, our approach saved a lot of time.”

Modeling was instrumental in streamlining production of prefabricated materials off site, so when it came time to put the materials in place there was no question of placement or tie-ins. DPR crews were able to virtually tilt in the wall panels ahead of time, before fabrication, allowing them to identify any imperfections or misalignments in the embeds ahead of time. Additionally, laser scanning allowed for verification of embed placement on site. If embeds were even a couple of inches off, the information could be relayed to the project team and the trade partner for quick adjustment, eliminating schedule risks. Catching potential misalignments ahead of time creates significant time and money savings versus dealing with errors later in the field.

Modeling was instrumental in streamlining production of prefabricated materials off site so that when it came time to put the materials in place there was no question of placement or tie-ins. Photo courtesy of Mindy Hetman

Modeling was also used to map out plumbing, electrical and conduit locations before these materials were fabricated. Copper pipes and fittings used in construction were tagged for specific locations for shut-off valves—all based on the modeling. Hard pipe is typically stick built in the field, with electricians bending pipe on site after boxes are roughed in. At Panther Creek, hard pipe was built off site according to the model. Electricians also traditionally install one stick of conduit at a time, but the modeling, coordination, and prefab efforts here allowed racks of 12 conduits to be installed at once. Fabrication work being done in the shop rather than on site cut down significantly on labor, accelerated the schedule, and reduced exposure to safety risks. “Prefab has been around for years,” said Project Manager Cameron Martin. “But these are new methods of employing it.”

Fabrication work being done in the shop rather than on site cut down significantly on labor, accelerated the schedule, and reduced exposure to safety risks. Photo courtesy of Mindy Hetman

Says Wrenn, “You couldn’t have done the prefabrication like our trades did without the modeling and bringing all the trades into the process. The trades used the Trimble system before the actual concrete was poured on any of the decks, and they were able to do the in-wall rough-in before the walls were studded.” Relationships with appropriate trade partners, such as plumbing contractor Environmental Air Systems and electrical contractor Cooper Electric, also helped in DPR’s success at Panther Creek.

Working under a tight schedule, DPR leveraged its relationships with important trade partners and brought its expertise in BIM modeling and coordination to the table to help deliver an excellent facility with cost efficiency and improved safety ever at the fore. The 96,700-sq.-ft. tilt-up medical office building, which includes a new ambulatory surgery center, imaging suites, pharmacy, and multiple medical clinics is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.

May 14, 2019

UVA Health System Demonstrates Innovation Through Renovation

Earlier this year, the University of Virginia Health System continued a rich tradition of innovation coupled with community service by completing an extensive renovation of its Children’s Hospital and Women’s Health floors at UVA Medical Center. The facility is a 600-bed teaching hospital that serves as the Regional Perinatal Center for Northwest and Central Virginia and is home to 6 ranked Pediatric programs by US News and World Report.

The University of Virginia Health System recently completed an extensive renovation of its Children’s Hospital and Women’s Health floors at UVA Medical Center. Photo courtesy of Lee Brauer

With the goal of improving its function, usefulness and appearance, this 58,000-sq.-ft. interior renovation project was a complex, three-year endeavor. DPR Construction, general contractor for the project, worked with architect HKS, Inc. to navigate the challenges of renovating this key area of the hospital, which remained operational throughout construction while prioritizing the safety of its patients. Since the renovations encompassed roughly half of the 7th floor and nearly as much of the 8th, it was necessary for the team to take a well-coordinated approach to design implementation, a process that was carried out in five phases. Robust communication between the teams and the Medical Center was vital to ensure this was a smooth process.

Not only did the renovation deliver a cleaner look, it also improved hospital workflow. Photo courtesy of Lee Brauer

Fifteen post-partum rooms, several of which look out onto nearby Carter Mountain, were updated to make them more convenient and comfortable for new moms and their loved ones. Bathrooms and facilities were refreshed, and outdated furniture was replaced with more comfortable, updated pieces.

Bathrooms and facilities were also refreshed in the renovation. Photo courtesy of Lee Brauer

“The space really needed to be refreshed and updated from the 1980s,” said Dr. Christian Chisholm, UVA Health System Obstetrics Medical Director. Not only did the renovation deliver a cleaner look, it also improved hospital workflow. The medication area was expanded, making it easier for nurses to prepare medications. And with the renovated rooms being adjacent to the hospital’s delivery rooms, new moms are no longer required to switch floors after giving birth. There is also a central area from which nurses will monitor post-partum rooms, resulting in more privacy for patients and a more seamless process for hospital staff.

There is a central area from which nurses will monitor post-partum rooms, resulting in more privacy for patients and a more seamless process for hospital staff. Photo courtesy of Lee Brauer

Included in the renovation was the 14-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), which admits about 1,000 children each year and is one of the Southeast’s top referral centers. The project also featured a 4-bed pediatric bone marrow transplant unit (BMT), a 34-bed acute pediatric unit with both private and semi-private rooms, a new continuing care nursery and procedure area, women’s health triage and family waiting areas. To maintain continuity, the team incorporated the established Children’s Hospital graphics, finishes, theme, and millwork into the existing Level 7 West and Central Units and Level 8 East and Central patient units.

With a resolve to move ever forward, UVA Health System’s Women’s Health and Children’s Hospital renovation lives up to its community’s ideals of innovation in service to its people.

February 28, 2019

Renovating a Hospital and Strengthening a Community

In Gloucester, Virginia, situated on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Riverside Walter Reed Hospital (RWRH) celebrated the completed phases of its $55 million renovation and expansion with a ribbon cutting ceremony in January. Nearly 150 dignitaries, local officials and Riverside team members were in attendance to view the hospital’s new Surgical and Inpatient Services Building, which aims to better serve its patients and their loved ones.

Nearly 150 dignitaries, local officials and Riverside team members were in attendance to view the hospital’s new Surgical and Inpatient Services Building, which aims to better serve its patients and their loved ones. Photo courtesy of Sara Nicholas

The hospital’s Renovation and Expansion is the result of years of planning and is the most significant construction project in its more than 40-year history. It delivers a new two-story, 54,000-sq.-ft. surgical center with three new operating rooms, a more centrally located pharmacy, pre- and post-operative care, 36 new private patient rooms, and a new hospital entrance and lobby. The new emergency department will more than triple in size, expanding from 6,000 to 16,000 sq. ft. This creates room for seven more beds, three major treatment rooms, a trauma room, dedicated Family Care Room and a new waiting/lobby area to better service the more than 22,000 patients it sees each year.

The new Surgical Services Suite includes features such as camera-equipped, advanced LED lighting for surgical video integration. Photo courtesy of Sara Nicholas

The new Surgical Services Suite boasts features such as camera-equipped, advanced LED lighting for surgical video integration, as well as the ability to use any operating room for any surgical case, translating into greater scheduling flexibility. Each new pre-op room is fully private and is equipped with available music therapy. Thirteen post-surgery patient bays/rooms allow for increased patient privacy while supporting state-of-the-art infection prevention and monitoring. The new inpatient unit includes 36 next-generation, private inpatient rooms equipped with computer systems that can be monitored by nearby staff 24/7. With convertible sleeper sofas and additional seating for visitors and families, the renovation aims to improve the overall experience not only for patients, but for their loved ones as well.

The hospital’s Renovation and Expansion is the result of years of planning and the most significant construction project in its more than 40-year history. Photo courtesy of Sara Nicholas

According to Riverside, its services on the Middle Peninsula reflect the organizational mission of “caring for others as we would care for those we love.” That is a mission echoed by DPR Construction, general contractor on the Riverside Walter Reed Hospital campus project, as well as on two other campuses in the area—Riverside Regional Medical Center and Riverside Doctor’s Hospital Williamsburg. “For us, it’s not just about the project, it’s about the community,” said Greg Haldeman, a member of DPR’s Management Committee. DPR operated with decisions centered around concern for patient safety and with the goal of doing everything “to make sure the construction of the expansion and renovation of this active campus creates the least amount of impact possible for the patients of RWRH.”

The renovation delivers a new surgical center with three new operating rooms, a more centrally located pharmacy, pre- and post-operative care, 36 new private patient rooms, and a new hospital entrance and lobby. Photo courtesy of Sara Nicholas

The expansion and renovation of this vital medical facility is not just about adding more rooms and updating technology; it is about better serving the community. Riverside President and CEO Bill Downey summed up his view of the project by saying, “This is a great community and a great group of people, and we look forward to the next 40 years, as we continue to expand and grow further.”

February 8, 2019

Challenges Deliver Innovative Success in Baltimore

The University of Maryland Medical Center’s (UMMC) new labor and delivery unit is a place where mothers, babies, and loved ones can feel calm, safe, and ready for the road of delivery ahead. By renovating the 30,000-sq.-ft. delivery floor and updating mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) systems, DPR Construction revitalized the 25-year-old center, enabling UMMC to provide better treatment for the 80 percent of pregnancies in Baltimore, Maryland which are high risk.

Hospital room
DPR Construction revitalized the 25-year-old center, enabling UMMC to provide better treatment for the 80 percent of pregnancies in Baltimore, Maryland which are high risk. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Sauers

The renovation includes new areas for triage, obstetric observation, high risk obstetric special care, elective obstetric surgeries/procedures and fetal procedures, and enhanced Neonatal Intensive Care Unit services, and presents a significant upgrade for the surrounding community.

Leveraging Communications for Success

Working within a functioning hospital always poses challenges. Safety, infection control and continuity of care are paramount. Often, these types of renovations require multiple phases and continual communication with all stakeholders throughout the project. The team on the UMMC project took a nimble approach, which allowed them to listen to the customer needs and requirements and put work in place seamlessly—without disruption.

“DPR established themselves as a partner by integrating with the clinical and design teams just after a concept schematic was solidified,” said Jarret Horst, Project Manager for UMMC. “Their early involvement and enthusiastic participation positioned them to be able to respond to the ever-shifting needs of the project while understanding of the objectives of the UMMC team. They were able to navigate the renovation process while remaining dedicated to the ‘true north’ vision of the clinical customers.”

Operating room
Often, these projects require multiple phases because hospitals cannot shut down multiple operations at one time and require continual communication with all stakeholders throughout the project. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Sauers

For example, initial planning called for the project to be completed in five phases. However, when certain tenants could not vacate the space, the plan morphed into 12 phases, increasing the complexity of the renovation with respect to noise, wall and ceiling access, and infection control. With existing operating rooms above and the pediatric cardiac suite below, work on the 6th floor required careful planning, resulting in the team scheduling noisy work around the OR schedule and implementing a process whereby the OR staff was able to contact DPR should work need to be shut down immediately. DPR continuously checked in with hospital staff to ensure work was not adversely affecting patients.

Bringing the Past into the Present

Like many healthcare renovations, the project involved creating access points to install new plumbing and electrical services. DPR developed comprehensive phasing plans and an Infection Control Risk Assessment solution to allow for safe updating of the MEP systems, which dated back to the 1960s.

The MEP work was approached methodically, beginning with thorough investigation and followed up with detailed planning meetings inclusive of subcontractors and the UMMC facilities group. Multiple temporary services were put in place as systems were changed out, allowing for continual service to existing areas of the hospital.

Hospital Hallway
The MEP work was approached methodically, beginning with thorough investigation and followed up with detailed planning meetings inclusive of subcontractors and the UMMC facilities group. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Sauers

However, upgrades were not limited to elements behind the walls. “The aesthetics also needed an upgrade. Now patients see walls awash in bright blues and yellows. In the architecture and finishing, there are a lot of wings and curving, both in the walls and floors, all meant to soothe and relax patients,” said Sarah Crimmins, medical director of the obstetric care unit and an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive services of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Producing Great Results

Through collaborative efforts, DPR and UMMC have created a space that Baltimore residents can rely on to help them navigate the delivery process.

“The end result is a space the team is very proud of, in part because so many details have been well planned. Everybody is very proud and passionate about this place,” Crimmins says. “Everyone wants to make sure this is the best it can be for the people in Maryland and the people in Baltimore.”

Hospital room
The University of Maryland Medical Center’s (UMMC) new labor and delivery unit is a place where mothers, babies, and loved ones can feel calm, safe, and ready for the road of delivery ahead. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Sauers

December 27, 2018

Collaborative Spirit and Technical Expertise Combine to Deliver a New Cancer Center in Jacksonville, Florida

When three years of dreaming, planning and building concluded, a new standard for patient-centered cancer care began as the Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center welcomed its first patients in Jacksonville, Florida. DPR Construction teamed with customer, Baptist Health, and a strong team of design and contracting partners to deliver the new, 330,000-sq.-ft., nine-story cancer treatment center, creating new possibilities for care providers and patients near Florida’s First Coast.

Rallying–and collaborating–for a cause

Baptist MD Anderson Cancer center creates welcomed its first patients in Jacksonville, Florida during September of 2018
The new, 330,000-sq.-ft., nine-story Baptist MD Anderson Cancer center welcomed its first patients in Jacksonville, Florida in September of 2018. Photo courtesy of Tom Harris

Knowing the customer saw this as a once-in-a-lifetime project, DPR turned to Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) to comprehensively understand the needs of the owner, to draw upon the expertise of local trade partners and to build trust and rapport with project stakeholders. The team included local contractor Perry McCall Construction and design partners HKS, FreemanWhite and Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.; all partners collectively utilized a co-located “Big Room” as a hub for operations. The team was so focused on collaboration that after Hurricane Irma destroyed the co-location site in August 2017, they created a new and improved Big Room with a renewed synergy and sense of purpose within weeks.

DPR turned to Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) to comprehensively understand the needs of the owner and others.
DPR turned to Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) to comprehensively understand the needs of the owner, to draw upon the expertise of local trade partners and to build trust and rapport with project stakeholders. Photo courtesy of Tom Harris

DPR also drew on the knowledge and skills from its network of projects nationwide. Self-performing trades—such as concrete, doorframes, hardware and acoustical ceilings—on a facility of this size meant sourcing help from DPR craftspeople across multiple states, including California, Texas and North Carolina. This strategy not only contributed to the on-time delivery of the center, but resulted in considerable cost savings and unparalleled quality discoverable in even the smallest design details, as well.

Technical expertise bridges the old with new

A key aspect to successful delivery—and a significant technical challenge—was connecting the existing patient tower to the new cancer center by way of a 150-ton glass and steel enclosed pedestrian skybridge. Erection of the prefabricated bridge required meticulous planning for nearly a year prior to installation. Spanning across 124 feet of one of Jacksonville’s most traveled local thoroughfares, San Marco Boulevard, the bridge required installation with no disruption to patients, visitors and the public—in addition to Baptist Health’s existing emergency department.

A key technical challenge was connecting the existing patient tower to the new cancer treatment center.
A key technical challenge was connecting the existing patient tower to the new cancer treatment center by way of a 150-ton glass and steel enclosed pedestrian skybridge. Photo courtesy of Tom Harris

The team explored options for the bridge’s frame system, exterior detailing, interior design features and MEP layouts while working with the hospital to understand how the bridge could be installed to maximize the facility’s ability to serve its patients.

Bridge erection involved two, 450-ton cranes that placed the structure on top of two, 36,000-pound trusses. The team planned MEP tie-ins between the two towers and the bridge with provisions for any contingency, and work at the outpatient facility was scheduled at night to avoid disruption of care and life safety systems. Additionally, 4D building information modeling kept the project moving on a fast-track, enabling prefabrication of significant electrical, plumbing and mechanical components, saving time during the construction process.

Work at the outpatient facility was scheduled at night to avoid disruption of care and life safety systems.
Work at the outpatient facility was scheduled at night to avoid disruption of care and life safety systems. Photo courtesy of Tom Harris

Remarkable partnerships, remarkable care

Nearly 1,200 construction workers from 45 different contractors and partners contributed to the new Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center. Together, they have delivered an advanced cancer treatment center that will provide remarkable care in the Southeast region of the United States for years to come.

DPR's SPW crews self-performed concrete, doorframes, hardware and acoustical ceilings.
DPR's SPW crews self-performed concrete, doorframes, hardware and acoustical ceilings. Photo courtesy of Tom Harris

November 27, 2018

Elevating Patient Care at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center

Employees of Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center left their mark on a multi-year master expansion project currently underway at the Athens, Georgia healthcare facility earlier this month. Piedmont Athens Regional staff members signed two steel beams days before they were hoisted into place signifying the first phase of the expansion—a fourth-floor addition of the Prince Tower Two—one of several towers on Piedmont Athens Regional’s campus.

Piedmont Athens Regional staff members signed two steel beams days before they were hoisted into place.
Piedmont Athens Regional staff members signed two steel beams days before they were hoisted into place signifying the first phase of the expansion—a fourth-floor addition of the Prince Tower Two. Photo courtesy of Andi King Wieczynski

In 2016, Atlanta-based Piedmont Healthcare acquired the 359-bed acute care hospital and has announced a phased master plan to expand services and amenities for the growing local community and the 17-county regional area surrounding Athens. Piedmont Athens Regional is home of Piedmont Healthcare’s east hub of services, which includes three other hospitals. Scheduled for completion in 2022, the master plan project includes:

  • 230,000 sq. ft. of new construction and 150,000 sq. ft of renovated space
  • Demolition of a four-story tower and replacement with a six-story, 64-bed patient tower
  • Multiple interior renovations to accommodate current capacity for the Prince Tower One, which is set to be demolished
  • Addition of a fourth floor to the three-story Prince Tower Two

With a main objective of improving delivery of patient care and operational efficiency, the project will also improve both vehicular and pedestrian circulation around the campus and simplify patient arrival, wayfinding and access.

Piedmont Athens Rendering
Scheduled for completion in 2022, the phased master plan project will expand services and amenities for the growing local community and the 17-county regional area surrounding Athens. Photo courtesy of SmithGroup

Before the beams were elevated atop the existing Prince Tower Two, construction partners and Piedmont Athens Regional employees, including Executive Director of Operations, Diane Todd, and Piedmont Athens Regional President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Charles Peck, came together to celebrate the monumental occasion. “Our mission, ‘to improve the lives and health of those we touch remains the same,” said Dr. Peck. “The opportunity to reach and care for more members of the Athens community is why today is such a significant first step for our future.”

The Athens Piedmont beam setting ceremony
“Our mission, ‘to improve the lives and health of those we touch remains the same,” said Dr. Peck. “The opportunity to reach and care for more members of the Athens community is why today is such a significant first step for our future.” Photo courtesy of Andi King Wieczynski

This is the fifth project DPR has executed for Piedmont Healthcare in the Atlanta area and the organization's first project for Piedmont Athens Regional. DPR is no stranger to the Athens community, however, as the team recently completed enhancements to the University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium—the 10th largest football facility in the country. Integral to the success of Piedmont Athens Regional’s expansion include DPR’s project partners: program consultant, BDR, and architect of record, SmithGroupJJR and Trinity Health Group Architects.

June 15, 2018

Celebrating DPR Dads: Building Futures, Building Families

Joel Bass
When DPR’s Joel Bass and his wife Wei-Bing Chen arrived at UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay because Chen was in labor, the staff told them that it might be helpful to go for a walk around campus. It was a familiar walk for Joel Bass, who was a superintendent on the award-winning 878,000-sq.ft. ground-up hospital complex renowned for its integrated project delivery (IPD) approach and state-of-the-art patient care. After walking the very same halls where he did countless job walks during the years he worked on the hospital, the parents-to-be sat on a bench and reflected on what was to come.

On March 12, 2015, the world welcomed Tyler Bass, the first DPR baby to be born at UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay. It was serendipitous, as the hospital had only moved deliveries into the new hospital a few days prior.

Joel and Tyler Bass
Tyler Bass was the first DPR baby to be born at UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay. Photo courtesy of Matt Pranzo

“It brought together so many things. At DPR, we try to be integral and indispensable to our communities, and having your baby in the building you built is a way to truly become a part of the building, and use it in the way it was intended,” said Joel Bass. “It’s important to see value and meaning in the work that you do, and know that you’re contributing to something larger than yourself. It was a special experience to share what we built with my family.”

Today, Tyler Bass is three years old–old enough to recognize UCSF’s helipad from nearby Highway 280 as “the place where dad works.” With his own hard hat, vest and boots, the toddler gravitates toward anything related to construction. He’s fascinated by cars, trucks and equipment, and is always lobbying his dad to take him to the jobsite.

Wei-Bing Chen, Tyler Bass and Joel Bass visit UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, where Tyler Bass was born. Photo courtesy of Matt Pranzo

Joel Bass now works a few blocks away from the hospital where Tyler Bass was born, as he and the DPR team build UCSF’s new 270,000-sq.-ft. Joan and Sanford I. Weill Neurosciences Building, which will bring together lab research programs and clinical care in what will become one of the largest neuroscience complexes in the world.

On his last visit, Tyler Bass proudly told his dad that he wants to work with him some day, a dream that makes Joel Bass smile–and a dream that might come true.

Joel and Tyler Bass
Tyler Bass is fascinated by construction, and dreams of working with his dad one day. Photo courtesy of Matt Pranzo

Dan Crutchfield
When DPR’s Dan Crutchfield met his wife Lauren Crutchfield at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, he had no idea what big moments life would have in store for him at the hospital a mile away.

As a superintendent at DPR, Dan Crutchfield has worked on five straight projects for Carroll Hospital Center, ranging from outpatient suites to the expansion of the labor and delivery suites, often coordinating construction work within live hospital units. On Nov. 25, 2017, after enduring a long labor and delivery process, Lauren Crutchfield gave birth to Josephine (Josie) Crutchfield in one of the very same suites built by her father.

Dan and Josie Crutchfield
On Nov. 25, 2017, after enduring a long labor and delivery process, Lauren Crutchfield gave birth to Josephine (Josie) Crutchfield in one of the very same suites built by her father. Photo courtesy of Matt Pranzo

Dan Crutchfield still works within the same building, as the DPR team builds an expansion of the hospital’s couplet care program, which enables mothers and newborns to stay together for their entire hospital stay. Nurses, doctors and hospital staff run into him almost every day and check in for updates about his wife and daughter.

“Now that I am renovating and expanding the facility where Josie was born, I gained an appreciation for what the doctors, nurses and medical staff do every day,” said Dan Crutchfield. “I’m able to see it from two different perspectives, both professional and personal.”

Crutchfield family
Dan Crutchfield, Josie Crutchfield and Lauren Crutchfield visit Carroll Hospital, where Josie was born. Photo courtesy of Matt Pranzo

A native of Carroll County, Maryland, Dan Crutchfield grew up his whole life in the community that Carroll Hospital Center serves and finds great meaning in building a facility that will positively impact so many people that he knows–including his own family. Josie Crutchfield is now six months old, and when she’s old enough, Dan Crutchfield plans to explain to her how she was born in the hospital that he built.

“I wasn’t just a contractor at a hospital. All the work I put into the expansion and renovations, I was making it better for her, and for families like ours. It was special, and a project that I will always remember.”

Dan and Josie Crutchfield
Josie Crutchfield is now six months old, and when she’s old enough, Dan Crutchfield plans to explain to her how she was born in the hospital that he built. Photo courtesy of Matt Pranzo

June 14, 2018

The Role of a Compassionate Team Culture while Building Spaces for Healing

On two simultaneous large-scale hospital expansion projects in the hearts of Phoenix and Tucson communities, the teams at Banner—University Medical Center (UMC) Phoenix and Banner—UMC Tucson maintain an environment that encourages connection, empathy and an investment in the well-being of others.

During a long project, it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of seemingly small tasks day-in and day-out. With shared team values of integrity, community and purpose, these two hospital expansions increase access to community-based, patient-centric healthcare within a culture of compassion. Every room, every wall, and every brush of paint could make the biggest difference on a patient’s day.

Operating room at BUMCP
Project teams at Banner—UMC Phoenix (pictured above) and Banner–UMC Tucson share core values of integrity, community and purpose, which results in a culture of compassion. Photo courtesy of Gregg Mastorakos.

“In our Monday morning safety meetings and daily huddles, we actively discuss the importance of what we are doing and emphasize that we are guests on campus,” said DPR’s Brian Thomason. “We established a culture that publicly praises kindness and doing the right thing.”

On healthcare projects, a compassionate environment inspires, motivates and connects the team to the spaces they are building. As discussed in "Manage Your Emotional Culture" in the Harvard Business Review, smaller acts of kindness and support create a caring culture, which improves teamwork and performance while decreasing burnout.

Exterior of BUMCT
Teams at Banner–UMC Phoenix and Banner–UMC Tucson (pictured above) are intentional about sharing moments of compassion. Photo courtesy of Taylor Granat

This specific environment is crucial to patient-centered design and construction. Health Environments Research & Design Journal reports that “by becoming more conscious of empathy, those who create healthcare environments can better connect holistically to the user to take an experiential approach to design.”

Here are the keys to creating a culture of compassion:

Connect the Team to the Purpose
How people feel about the project they are completing directly affects their performance. During a four-year hospital project, it’s important to keep the bigger picture in mind, and integrated teams at Banner—UMC Phoenix and Banner—UMC Tucson discovered unique opportunities to connect and empathize with patients in adjacent buildings.

At Banner—UMC Tucson, children recovering at the adjacent Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center have a direct view of the jobsite under construction. The Sundt | DPR team moved cardboard cut-outs of Pokémon™ characters including Pikachu, Squirtle and Charmander to a new spot on the steel frame structure every day. This energized and connected the team to the project, which includes the construction of a bridge to connect the new nine-story hospital through Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center. Floors five through nine will provide 204 in-patient private bed units, and floors one through four will include bridge connections to the existing hospital.


Patients at the Phoenix project also had a unique view of progress of the new 13-story patient tower expansion, which will house 256 patient beds. The team noticed a sign from a patient window on the eighth floor of the existing patient tower, requesting the “YMCA” dance for her birthday. Working collaboratively on their moves, the team happily delivered the dance.

“With our team’s culture, there was a real sense of duty. You could see it through the extra hours, the extra work, and the drive to live up to our commitments,” said Thomason.

The Community is Considered Part of the Team
Normally, construction aims to stay out of sight, minimizing any disruption to the surrounding community. However, the community welcomed the positivity, investment and teaching opportunities provided by the teams.

At Banner—UMC Phoenix, the team encouraged kids from nearby Emerson Elementary to paint the plywood safety wall surrounding the jobsite. The resulting mural provided a colorful addition to the project, and it was also an opportunity to teach students about safety and construction. After the wall was no longer needed onsite, DPR delivered and installed the mural at Emerson Elementary for the students to remember their contribution to Banner—UMC Phoenix.

Emerson Elementary
At Banner—UMC Phoenix, the team encouraged kids from nearby Emerson Elementary to paint the plywood safety wall surrounding the jobsite. Photo courtesy of Brian Thomason

“The team, both Banner employees and DPR, have all stated how they are so proud to be a part of such a caring group of people inside and outside of the office,” said Thomason.

By engaging and educating the community, hospital end users feel like a part of the team and share that culture of compassion.

Thank you note
The team received thank you notes from students at Emerson Elementary School. Photo courtesy of Brian Thomason

The Team Looks for Opportunities to Create Joy
When the team establishes a culture of compassion, the opportunities to engage and give back seem to be everywhere.

The iron workers at Banner—UMC Phoenix spontaneously communicated their best wishes by painting “GET WELL FROM THE IRON WORKERS” in direct view of patient rooms in the current tower.

“This was completely unscripted and was a huge hit. We received a bunch of phone calls from the hospital staff saying how awesome it was for the construction workers to take a moment and place this message to the patients,” said Thomason.

The community, staff, patients and project teams may not remember every single day they spent building this project, but they will look back and remember how they felt.

May 2, 2018

Construction Underway at Inova Loudoun Hospital’s Patient Tower

Construction is underway at Inova Loudoun Hospital’s (ILH) new patient tower in Leesburg, Virginia. Scheduled for completion in 2020, the tower is one phase of ILH’s $300 million master plan for expansion of facilities and services.

The 7-story 385,000-sq.-ft. patient tower was designed by HDR in collaboration with RSG Architects to create a patient-focused experience that elevates the human spirit. The tower will include:

  • Private, patient-centered rooms
  • New obstetrics unit and expanded Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • Expanded Progressive Care Unit (PCU) and Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
  • Expanded Inova Heart and Vascular Institute Schaufeld Family Heart Center
  • More tertiary services, including Level III Trauma at the Inova Virts Miller Family Emergency and Trauma Center and throughout the hospital
  • Outpatient services, diagnostic imaging, a café and hospital support
  • Shell space for future expansion
Groundbreaking photo
The team broke ground on Inova Loudoun Hospital’s new patient tower in September 2017. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Shumaker
Aerial photo
Construction on the 7-story, 385,000-sq.ft. patient tower is underway. Photo courtesy of Louay Ghaziri
Rendering
Scheduled for completion in 2020, the patient tower is a part of Inova Loudoun Hospital’s $300 million master plan for expansion of facilities and services. Photo courtesy of HDR

March 28, 2018

VCU Health C.A.R.E. Building Opens to Provide Accessible Healthcare

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s new C.A.R.E. Building opened in February 2018, creating a comprehensive medical center housing clinics, administration, rehabilitation and education services for the residents of southern Virginia and northern North Carolina.

Adjacent to the Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, Virginia, the $14.4 million, 67,000-sq.-ft. C.A.R.E. Building represents VCU’s commitment to make comprehensive healthcare as accessible as possible for its patients. It is home to physician practices and hospital services including cardiology, pulmonology, family care and orthopedics. The new facility will also house a family dental clinic that is set to open later this year.

VCU Health C.A.R.E. building exterior.
Photo courtesy of Judy Davis
Photo courtesy of Judy Davis
Photo courtesy of Judy Davis
Photo courtesy of Judy Davis