Anthony Rakis, Director of Building Services, UMC
Working with the DAVIS healthcare team has been one of the best construction experiences I have ever had. They make everything look and feel effortless, all while maintaining proper safety protocol and regulatory compliance. Their quality of work is beyond reproach.
For over fifty years, United Medical Center (UMC) has provided full-service healthcare to the Southeast DC communities. In an effort to increase their level of care and service patient experience, the hospital needed to upgrade a majority of their facility. With first-time design partner, RSG, we worked with the hospital to develop a master plan and budget that not only identified immediate needs, but helped plan for future modifications as well. Since developing the plan in 2014, we’ve completed 17 projects at the hospital, including our largest and most technical healthcare projects to date. Working in an active medical facility requires an extraordinary level of attention to detail and care – that’s why we’re proud that UMC has continually chosen to work with our healthcare experts for their renovation needs.
Building a Puzzle Piece by Piece
The first project began with the emergency department vestibule renovation and the ambulatory entrance. In order to provide patients with the best emergency care, the entrance needed to be more accessible and accommodating for patients. Expanding the vestibule, updating the triage room and adding a new registration area allows for enhanced visibility between staff and patients and proper streamlining of medical care. The addition of a new entrance canopy for emergency drop-off, new furniture, and modern finishes make for a more welcoming and comfortable environment for patients, their families, and staff alike.
Operating Under Pressure
To offer state-of-the-art surgical care, the UMC Surgery Center required complete renovations of four 1960s-era operating rooms and surrounding corridors – one of our most technically complex healthcare projects to date. Unlike the other renovation projects in the hospital where our team had access to an entire floor at once, the operating room renovations required them to work adjacent to active surgical suites at all times. Constant communication and coordination with hospital personnel were essential for maintaining the nine-month schedule.
Each of the four rooms was expanded by 200-SF and received Clean Room ceiling systems, complete with HEPA filters specifically designed to control air contamination. With under two feet of space to work within the ceiling plenum, our team installed new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems before installing the remainder of the Clean Room system. To meet current operating room design standards and to support the new systems, a custom 43-foot air handler was installed on the roof of the hospital.
Our team precisely installed four steel support beams in each of the rooms to hold all operating lights and medical gas lines, for a total of sixteen. Because of the highly explosive nature, only licensed individuals can work on installing medical gases and the surgical-grade lines they run through. Our team successfully completed the entire renovation, along with the sensitive gas installation, without any surgical interruptions, contamination, or patient incidents related to the construction. The result is a brand new surgical unit complete with modern equipment, including cameras and communication technology so that doctors and staff can record surgeries and/or consult with other surgical experts remotely.
Patients Are Our Priority
Throughout each of the seventeen projects we’ve completed at UMC, the patients, their experience and care were always our number one priority. As with all of our healthcare projects in an active facility, we maintain the highest level of awareness and respect, while taking extreme care to mitigate noise and contamination and our work at UMC is no exception.
Our partnership with the hospital continues to this day as we work with them to address renovation needs identified in the master plan. Collaborating with one of DC’s oldest hospitals to bring modern medical care to the communities it serves has been some of the most rewarding work for our team of healthcare construction experts.
Photos by Commerical Photographics; progress photo by Davis