Sanford Heart Hospital used lessons learned from its previous facility to design a new space, complete with natural quartz surfaces that were durable and easy to clean.

Images courtesy of Cambria

Sanford Heart Hospital, located on the campus of Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., opened in 2012 as a dedicated heart health care facility. By 2020, higher-than-expected growth in demand for heart hospital services called for an expansion.

Fortunately, hospital leadership anticipated significant growth and built a designated space for future expansion. Since 2014, Sanford’s overall admissions numbers have increased by 32%, emergency room visits by 16% and catheterization lab visits by 26%.

Adding 26,058 square feet within the existing footprint, an addition had to blend well and be consistent with the existing structure, and also needed to improve upon the overall durability, longevity and aesthetics of that space.

The solid surface material used in the existing structure exhibited scratches, wear and staining from daily use of hospital-grade cleaning products and disinfectants. The undermount sink areas were prone to harboring germs and bacteria. The team also wanted more storage for patients’ personal items and medical supplies in patient rooms that would be functional, accessible and easy to clean.

The goal of the facilities managers was to provision spaces within the hospital that were comforting, calming and healing. At the core of Sanford’s decision-making process was mitigating risk and finding opportunities to leverage materials that were more suitable to withstanding the demands of the hospital while supporting patient health and wellness.

Sanford turned to one of its longtime partners, Cambria, based in Le Sueur, Minn., for support in solving these challenges. Cambria would supply a product that not only would perform well, but also would elevate the look and feel of the space while staying true to the original specifications and enabling design consistency between patient rooms.

“We were really looking for a turnkey solution and already recognized the superiority of the Cambria product from our previous experience with quartz in non-clinical spaces,” says Sanford Heart Hospital Construction Project Manager Nathan Kraft, who has been with the Sanford organization since 2006. “We sent the project specifications with our cleaning solutions and hand sanitizers to Cambria. Testing was done to ensure overall performance and the compatibility of Cambria with our cleaning protocols.”

In a 24/7 health care environment, where safety and infection prevention are of the utmost importance, Cambria’s nonabsorbent, durable, natural quartz surfaces proved to be the right solution. The surfaces withstand myriad disinfecting cleaners that meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities.”

“We had peace of mind knowing it would hold up better, require less maintenance and last longer,” Kraft says “Using a product such as Cambria is the sustainable choice, just knowing about its technical performance, durability
and lifespan.”

The Sanford design team specified Cambria in spaces such as charting and nurses stations, patient toilet room vanities and hand-wash stations in patient spaces. Each Cambria design was chosen to coordinate with existing finishes.

Cambria’s corporate services team provided a turnkey solution for the hospital, which included estimation, fabrication, installation, project management and advice on technical inquiries. The company fabricated seamless integral sinks, which eliminated the gap between the sink and the counter, thereby preventing the growth of mold and mildew. The company also constructed built-in quartz shelving for patient room storage, enabling easy access and cleanability.

Sanford Heart Hospital leadership took key learnings from its original facility to optimize the buildout of the new spaces to enhance the patient experience. The final result: Cambria helped improve the Sanford facility by providing high-performing quartz surfaces, a durable and hygienic solution that provides a beautiful aesthetic that elevates the patient experience.