New M.T. Mustian Center at TMH anticipates the future of health care
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Courtesy of Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare
The structure of the intensive-care unit and surgery center is taking shape. The new facilities will support growth in the medical services TMH can offer to the region.
O’Bryant said the new facility became part of the hospital’s strategic plan back in 2008, but to see it become a reality TMH needed a higher level of funding that it didn’t have at that particular time.
“This is a $260 million project. That typically requires financing at the highest level. That requires bond financing,” he said. “In 2008, TMH didn’t have the financial backbone to support a major bond of that nature. So we had to improve our financial status to allow us to competitively go out and draw down a bond.
“That meant making sure that we had margins to show stability in financial performance. We had to significantly build up ‘days of cash’ because that’s also a measure important to the bond markets. We were finally able to go out and secure a very competitive bond.”
Designing the workspace and patient environment wasn’t a job left to architects, alone. TMH administrators, physicians, nurses and even patient representatives all had input in how the new operating rooms and ICU rooms would flow and function.
Patient representative Marsha Smith Hill is one of many people to have benefited from TMH care over the years, and her personal connection made her an obvious choice for the design panel. She gave birth to her youngest daughter, faced down breast cancer and was treated for a heart condition at TMH facilities. She was recommended by her OB/GYN, Dr. Andrea Friall, and enthusiastically offered suggestions for making families feel more comfortable at the hospital.
“Thanks to the wonderful, gentle, caring team at TMH, I’m still living today. It was wonderful to be involved in this state-of-the-art center. We met once a month for a solid year,” she said. “We listened to each other. Some of us were patients, some were family of patients and some were staff from TMH.”
Her suggestions were simple, but little things do make a difference.
“I asked for the linen hamper to be covered, so it would not be seen. I did not want to see a dirty linen hamper showing in the beautiful rooms. They now hide in the counter space,” she said.
Campo said the design team took seriously the smallest of details, such as the location of beds, lighting, compressed air, TVs, switches and oxygen outlets. Room mockups were built in a nearby warehouse to give physicians a chance to physically interact with their new environment and equipment before the real deal was built.
“Good things came out of that,” Campo said. “We realized we needed to move things around or have more mobility with this equipment and that equipment or where the lights would go, where the outlets would go, so it was very helpful.”
The goal was to do what’s best for the patients and make it as efficient as possible, according to Dr. Hank Hutchinson, orthopedic trauma surgeon.
“All the equipment decisions were brought to the surgeons so we could have input in what we felt would be the best way and most efficient way for us to take care of the patients,” Hutchinson said. He added that the new tower and new operating rooms should be “superior to” any facility he’s seen before, thanks to the new tech and new integrated systems that will, for example, allow surgeons to consult with outside physicians during surgery.
“If I had a question about something during surgery and had a question for the pathologist, those things can be done in real time. At least that’s the plan. I think that’s neat,” he said.
Of course, for a project of the Mustian Center’s scale, you need the right contractor. TMH picked Brasfield & Gorrie, a Birmingham-based general contractor that “Modern Healthcare” magazine ranks third among the nation’s top contractors in health-care construction. The rating was based on 2016 revenues, with Brasfield & Gorrie near the top that year with more than $1.04 billion in completed health-care construction projects representing 3.8 million square feet of project space.
Senior project manager Brian Smith said the Mustian Center is a significant — and unique — project for the company.
— Senior project manager Brian Smith
“Incorporating lessons learned and collaboration with all parties involved leads to a better product,” Smith said. “This will be a first-class facility to serve Tallahassee and surrounding counties.”
Smith added that new projects such as the Mustian Center give him and his colleagues a chance to examine workflows and make improvements.
“It is also a great time to see where technology can aid in efficiency. Equipment is being used that decreases the amount of storage space needed while greatly improving the time it takes to assemble supplies for procedures,” he said.
Meanwhile, the construction work itself is boosting the local economy, according to Mike Roche, senior project superintendent, a Tallahassee native who’s thrilled to be back in his hometown working on such an important project.
“I love it. I’ve worked for 20 years to try to get back home to Tallahassee, so this is exciting to me,” Roche said. “This has huge benefits to the community. This new facility has a lot of great new features and aspects for the community in terms of jobs and technology.”
There are about 289 workers of various trades on site at any given time, Roche said. A majority of the workforce is made up of workers who are from the local area — Tallahassee, Crawfordville and Quincy. Some crews came from Jacksonville, Orlando and Atlanta. Wages vary according to trade, but they have one thing in common: They all spend their hard-earned money here.
“It’s fantastic. You’ve got guys who have a steady job and are making good money,” Roche said. “It impacts all the little shops around here. Probably 60–70 percent of our guys go to lunch around here every day. You’ve also got some guys from out of town and they’re staying in hotels. A project this size has so many people working for it. You touch every industry.”