Building high-tech health care

URBAN LANDSCAPE

Expansion: An addition to the University of Maryland Medical Center will contain a new emergency center and advanced surgical suites.

September 30, 1999|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,SUN STAFF

THE UNIVERSITY of Maryland Medical Center in downtown Baltimore will break ground next week for a seven-story, $145 million addition that will cap more than a decade of expansion and renovation.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Monday for the addition, which will contain a new emergency center, advanced surgical suites and patient rooms when it opens in the spring of 2002.

The building will rise on the north side of the 600 block of W. Lombard St., between the 5-year-old Homer Gudelsky Building and the 10-year-old Shock Trauma Center.

Morton I. Rapoport, president and chief executive officer of the University of Maryland Medical System, which includes the medical center, predicts that the building will set a new standard for hospital care in the state.

"It will incorporate the most sophisticated design and equipment in a beautiful environment with garden terraces and skylights," he said. "At the same time, it enables us to provide more efficient, technologically advanced care."

The 380,000-square-foot addition, tentatively called the Lombard Street building, is the centerpiece of the medical center's $218 million Phase Three expansion project and one of the largest single investments planned for the west side of downtown.

The building was designed by Perkins & Will and Kohn Pederson Fox, both of New York, and Design Collective of Baltimore. Turner Construction Co. and Essex Construction LLC are the construction managers. Funding comes from medical system operating revenues, the state of Maryland, philanthropic gifts and the sale of bonds.

"The new building is designed to enhance the delivery of health care by locating certain services closer together -- such as emergency care, diagnostic evaluation, surgery and critical care units," said Stephen C. Schimpff, chief executive officer of the medical center. "It will provide more space for growing programs, and give us flexibility to incorporate changes in technology and services in the years to come."

The first level will house a 55,000-square-foot emergency center with an entrance next to the Shock Trauma Center. The emergency facility will have separate adult and pediatric waiting and treatment areas and expanded space for existing specialized services, such as a chest pain evaluation unit. The emergency center also will have a dedicated diagnostic radiology facility with X-ray, CAT scan and ultrasound equipment.

The new emergency center will provide patients with more space and privacy than the current facility. About half the 54 emergency treatment bays will be in private rooms, and all beds will have state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment. A two-story glass-enclosed atrium along Lombard Street will house the emergency center's waiting areas.

The building will also contain 16 operating rooms, an invasive angiography suite, and three outpatient surgery rooms for minor procedures. Each operating room will have its own air-filtration system to reduce the risk of infection.

The top three floors will house patient rooms featuring views of Camden Yards. An expanded diagnostic imaging department will be located in the building, as well as a new cafeteria, an employee training and learning center, and a resource center, where patients and their families can obtain information on health problems and medical procedures.

The exterior was designed to be compatible with the Gudelsky Building and the Shock Trauma Center. It will have a limestone base, brick walls and large bay windows on the south side.

Additional funds from the Phase Three campaign have been or will be used to relocate programs and departments formerly on the construction site, buy equipment and renovate other areas of the medical center.

In addition to the UM Medical Center, the private, nonprofit University of Maryland Medical System includes the Greenebaum Center Center, Shock Trauma Center, Kernan and Deaton hospitals and Maryland General Health Systems.

"This new facility will enhance our position in the regional health care marketplace and help us to attract and maintain the best and brightest staff," said John W. Ashworth III, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the medical center. "I believe this building is a symbol for the bright future of this medical center at the beginning of the new century."

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