Thursday, May 13, 2010
A ground-breaking ceremony on May 13, 2010 marked the start of construction for the University of Maryland Medical Center's newest facility, considered Phase IV of the Medical Center's strategic facilities expansion plan. The new facility will be connected to the existing R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Building. It will expand the Shock Trauma Center, boost the capacity of the Medical Center's adult and pediatric emergency departments and provide additional beds for surgical intensive care patients.
The new building is expected to bring to the Medical Center and the local community, the following benefits:
Enhanced Trauma Care
In the coming years, there will be an increased demand for trauma and other emergency services, as well as surgical and critical care. The Medical Center estimates that it will handle nearly 80,000 emergency department visits a year by 2016, compared with nearly 64,000 visits in 2008.
With its 10 state-of-the-art operating rooms, 64 new and replacement critical care beds and new rooftop landing pad for Medevac and Maryland ExpressCare helicopters, this new building will greatly enhance the Medical Center's capacity to treat patients who need the highest level of trauma, emergency and surgical critical care.
Environmentally Friendly Design
The building is expected to meet criteria for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council as a "green" building. This certification means that the new building will be constructed in an environmentally responsible way by reducing energy consumption and cutting waste both during construction and when the building is in use.
In order to meet LEED standards, the new building will incorporate a variety of planning, design and construction strategies that include everything from high efficiency lighting fixtures to sophisticated heat recovery systems and occupancy sensing lighting controls.
The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, a Baltimore-based firm charged with managing construction for the project, expects to generate about 300 new construction jobs, giving the local economy a much needed boost. The Medical Center's goal is to have 25 percent of the work performed by minority or disadvantaged contractors.
In addition, the Medical Center expects to add an additional 250 employees to its work force to staff the expanded areas. Currently, the Medical Center has more than 6,800 employees.
A National Training Center in Trauma
Since 2001, U.S. Air Force surgeons, nurses and technicians have been coming to Shock Trauma for training through the Center for Sustained Trauma and Readiness Skills (C-STARS) program.
The new building will house a National Trauma and Emergency Medicine Training Center. This training center will have four simulation rooms and be located on the new building's first floor. These technologically advanced simulation rooms will have the ability to replicate conditions in the hospital and on the battlefield to enhance the skills of both civilian and military health care professionals.
Nurses and other staff members were involved in planning the layout of the new building. They looked at work-flow issues, as well as patient safety and comfort, to create a space that was both patient- and family-centered, in addition to being user-friendly for the staff.
The entrance to the building will be on Lombard Street, just west of the connection to the Weinberg Building. There will be a reception desk and waiting area for Shock Trauma visitors and family members on the first floor. People coming to the Medical Center's expanded adult and pediatric emergency departments will use a separate entrance located in the Weinberg Building.