Baptist Health of Northeast Florida recently completed a milestone project that will help it to keep pace with patient demand. The health system’s new Tower C at Baptist Medical Center South is a 155,200-square-foot facility and an integral component of the hospital’s campus master plan. The new patient tower has allowed it to expand surgical, labor and delivery, medical/surgical beds and associated support services. It was also designed with shell space to provide adaptability needed for future growth.

“Our new patient tower allows us the space to grow as well as better serve families,” says Nicole Thomas, FACHE, hospital president, Baptist Medical Center South.

Throughout the planning process, the hospital worked with Gresham, Smith and Partners (GS&P) to take an insight-driven approach. The design team collaborated closely with hospital stakeholders to evaluate patient room mock ups, resulting in a patient-centered solution.

The new tower features updated finishes and amenities to enhance the patient experience such as miniature refrigerators and safes in each room. The labor and delivery unit features 45 spacious rooms with touches that help create a spa-like environment, such as replacing paper towels with cloth hand towels and providing more counter space for toiletries. An additional nursery minimizes travel distances for patients and a number of alcove spaces give families a place to rest and enjoy views to the outside. 

“Providing convenient access to services, enhancing the patient experience, promoting a healing environment and maximizing operational efficiencies were key considerations in the planning process,” says Stephan K. Gartman, AIA, LEED AP, principal, Gresham, Smith and Partners. “Tower C provides new operating rooms and expansion of clinical spaces on the lower floors, as well as undeveloped space that anticipates future growth.”

Shell space in the adjacent Tower D was built out to provide additional holding and recovery capacity that increased in proportion with the additional surgical capacity in Tower C. These support areas were located adjacent to the operating room suite to minimize patient travel distances to enhance patient safety and operational efficiencies.

To further support future capacity, GS&P expanded and built out the central energy plant (CEP). The CEP expansion will not only support growth, but coupling construction with the Tower C project also capitalized on an already-active construction zone, therefore reducing future disruptions.