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Grand Junction VA Medical Center

Neenan’s clinic addition consolidates surgery services for improved workflow, use of space.

Situation:
With their care facility for veterans growing at the average rate of 1,000 additional patients each year over the last three years, the Grand Junction VA Medical Center (VAMC) was struggling to meet increasing demands for space, while managing complexities created by having surgical areas situated in multiple locations throughout the hospital. Adding substantial square footage to the existing clinic, yet minimizing disruption to the patients and staff in the facility, was vital to maintaining the medical center’s high standards for quality.

Solution:
Working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who facilitated the project on behalf of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, The Neenan Company, in partnership with Ross and Baruzzini, designed and constructed a third-floor surgery center on top of an existing two-story wing of the VAMC. The addition replaced the older operating rooms in the facility, merged separate surgery areas into the new addition, and freed up space in the rest of the building to allow for future services to be added on the VAMC campus.

While the 31,000-square-foot addition was being built, the existing two floors below remained fully operational, requiring Neenan to proceed with the utmost attention to noise and fume mitigation, traffic flow and conscientious communication with the VAMC staff. In order to minimize surgical down time and simplify a complicated process as much as possible, The Neenan Company also meticulously researched, documented and photographed each piece of equipment that would need to be moved into the new addition upon its completion.

Conditions of Satisfaction:
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Conditions of Satisfaction for the project included:

  • Cost containment (project delivery on an agreed firm-fixed-price contract)
  • Addition will increase flow of procedures and decrease the time demands on staff.
  • Features of new addition:
    • Four operating rooms
    • Two endoscopy rooms
    • Intensive care unit with five negative-pressure patient rooms
    • Pre-op/post acute care unit with 11 bays, nurses station and support spaces
  • Addition will institute energy efficient heating, air conditioning and light systems that reduce operating costs and environmental impact.
  • Project goal of 70% Small Business Enterprise (SBE) participation.
  • Ability to deliver project with high degree of attention to current patient environment.
  • Adherence to requirements assessed by government performance evaluation, including:
    • Quality Control
    • Timely Performance
    • Effectiveness of Management
    • Compliance with Labor Standards
    • Compliance with Safety Standards

Results:

  • More efficient hospital communication and operations via consolidated work areas.
  • An opportunity to reclaim space in the existing hospital structure for future services.
  • Improvements to patient care areas such as infection control, as a result of eliminating the need to move patients between floors post-surgery.
  • A complicated construction project kept on schedule through Neenan’s familiarity and experience with public-private partnership requirements.
  • Responsible stewardship of the taxpayer money used to fund the project.
  • “Outstanding” and “Above Average” ratings in all government evaluation areas.
  • Increased safety, plus money and time saved through diligent design. One example:

During the initial design process, The Neenan Company discovered that existing structural columns for the two-story hospital wing were not sufficient to support the load of the new addition. Neenan’s immediate notification of government partners regarding the reinforcements required and their professional and cooperative approach to resolving the complex issue were praised by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the final official project evaluation, alongside several other examples of Neenan’s “willingness to go beyond what is normally expected or required.”

Expounding on Neenan’s demonstrated experience and commitment to quality, evaluator and resident engineer Jason Redeen of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers noted, “Without their expertise in hospital construction and the desire to provide the customer with an outstanding finished product, this project would not have been completed successfully.”