Photo credit: John Cole
The new MedStar Health in Chevy Chase, Md., supports several care specialties.

The densely populated East Coast is a challenging place to find a site for a new health care facility, and the suburbs just outside Washington, D.C., are a prime example of that situation.

When MedStar Health, Columbia, Md., decided to expand its highly specialized brain and spine services into Chevy Chase, Md., they turned to planning and design firm Trinity Health Group, Westerville, Ohio, for help in assessing the feasibility of repurposing a corporate office building to fit the need.

Photo credit: John Cole
Photo credit: John Cole
Photo credit: John Cole

MedStar operates 10 hospitals, including Washington Hospital Center and Georgetown University Hospital, and more than 100 other health care sites that serve the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., metro area.

The Trinity planners and architects helped MedStar to develop an adaptable integrated care model for the center that emphasizes a holistic team approach that could include neurologists, neurosurgeons, physical therapists, nurses, psychologists, dietitians and more.

Therefore, the facility needed to be an efficient, highly adaptable multiuse space that would accommodate primary care, urgent care and the spine center.

The architects designed the 20,000-square-foot center to incorporate highly adaptable yet standardized features so that services could accommodate daily peak flows and new services as the market demanded.

"By being innovative — thinking outside the box — and helping an organization organize and deliver its services differently, we are able to repurpose old facilities, breathe life into a worn environment and reduce costs to our clients as well as preserve resources," says Bob Gesing, principal, Trinity.

The sophisticated, clean and modern aesthetic contributes to the sense of a professional, streamlined approach to health care. The criteria for material selection included durability, ease of maintenance as well as sustainable and environmental sensitivity.

The design and health care delivery model also yielded other benefits, including an estimated 20 percent reduction in square footage per exam room. This allowed the Trinity architects to design a more flexible space that would accommodate the shifting of services as the market dynamics change.

"Creating something that is highly adaptable that allows MedStar to shift services as the needs change has a strong value," Gesing says. "If you equate that with cost per square foot and the lease rate, it has a pretty high return."

The criteria for the interior architecture and design were to develop and initiate standards that would reinforce the MedStar brand; the location at Chevy Chase is the first of several to incorporate these standards.

Trinity is working with MedStar to expand its ambulatory care network in Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Chevy Chase, Brandywine and Timonium, Md.

In other health care facility developments:

  • St. Elizabeth Hospice, part of St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Erlanger, Ky., recently broke ground on a Grief and Loss Center for families of hospice patients.

    The $1.5 million, 3,000-square-foot Grief and Loss Center will include a large group room, small conference room, three counseling rooms and a common area. It also will house a coffee shop, break/kitchen area, living/sitting area for families, meditation garden and administrative offices.

  • Duke Realty will begin development of the 78,000-square-foot, three-story Baptist Oxford (Miss.) Medical Office Building (MOB). It will be located on the campus of the new Baptist Memorial Hospital–North Mississippi, which is scheduled for a 2017 completion.

    About 49,000 square feet of the new MOB will house services of Baptist Memorial Hospital–North Mississippi, including outpatient physical therapy, wound care, a sleep lab, education/simulation and administrative space. The MOB also will house other medical specialty practices.

  • Perkins Eastman, New York City, and the Kendal Corp. celebrated the substantial completion of the first phase of the $30 million repositioning and expansion of Kendall at Ithaca. The full-service senior living community is located on a 105-acre campus in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

Want to see your new health care construction project featured on HFM DailyEmail project information and photos to Senior Editor Jeff Ferenc or tweet to him @JeffFerenc.