Emergency Information Take Over

University of Maryland Medical Center Celebrates Opening of New Shock Trauma Critical Care Tower

Friday, November 08, 2013

R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center
 R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center

The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) today dedicated its new Shock Trauma Critical Care Tower, marking the near-completion of 140,000 square feet of new space designed to care for the region’s most critically ill and injured patients. Home to the world-renowned R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, the new construction represents much-needed increased capacity. The original trauma space was designed to serve 3,500 patients a year, and has been operating at more than twice that capacity, serving more than 8,000 patients annually the last several years. The new space is nearly fully occupied with patients, with construction having been completed in stages to enable staff to expand into the new areas as soon as work was completed on a given floor or unit.

The new tower, with a public entrance on Lombard Street, houses nine floors of patient care space including 64 new patient rooms, and 10 new operating rooms. The new space also enabled expansion of the adult and pediatric emergency departments at UMMC, and new laboratory and pharmacy space. A new family and visitor lounge designed to serve the special needs of families dealing with the sudden traumatic injury of a loved one has also been added to the space.

On the roof of the new building is an additional helicopter landing pad, increasing the center’s capacity to accept air medical transport patients to four. The new landing pad has been specifically designed to accommodate larger and heavier helicopters such as Marine One in the event of a necessary landing.

Jeffrey A. Rivest, president and chief executive officer of UMMC“Time sensitive critical care medicine is a hallmark of this Medical Center’s service to our community, state and region. This new tower -- and the incredible people who work within it -- will enable us to remain at the forefront of trauma and critical care medicine for decades to come,” said Jeffrey A. Rivest, president and chief executive officer of UMMC.

Special guests joining today’s event included Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley; Sen. Ben Cardin; Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake; Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger; Major General Mark Ediger, Deputy Surgeon General of the U.S. Air Force; and The Honorable Francis X. Kelly, Jr., chairman of the Shock Trauma Board of Visitors.

U.S. Air Force surgeons, nurses and technicians come to Shock Trauma for training through the Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills (C-STARS) program. The new Shock Trauma Critical Care Tower will house a technologically advanced simulation facility, where teams can replicate conditions in the hospital and on the battlefield to enhance the skills of both civilian and military health care professionals.

Thomas M. Scalea, M.D., FACS“This new building represents the culmination of our team’s collective vision to give each and every patient the best possible opportunity for survival and recovery,” said Thomas M. Scalea, M.D., FACS, Physician-in-Chief, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, and the Honorable Francis X. Kelly Distinguished Professor of Trauma Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Scalea added, “We remind the citizens of Maryland that when life is on the line, we are here for them, and we need their continued support as we advance this one-of-a-kind critical care facility for the future.”

The total project cost was $160 million. $35 million is being raised through private philanthropic donations; $50 million has been provided for the project over the last 5 years from the State of Maryland, with an additional $2 million from the federal government. The University of Maryland Medical System is the largest contributor to the project.

“As a resource for all of the people of Maryland, we are grateful to the State for their support of our vision to expand and enhance this facility, and to our private donors, who have given generously so we can continue our mission,” said Scalea. “We are still actively fundraising to fully complete several key projects related to the expansion, and appreciate the generosity of those who have and will give.”

Donors who have invested $1 million or more in the tower project include: Alexandra and the late Tom Clancy; Willard Hackerman/Whiting-Turner; Edward St. John/St. John Properties; George Doetsch, Jr./Apple Ford; and Frank and Janet Kelly. $500,000 donors include: Carl Julio; John Paterakis; France-Merrick Foundation; and M&T Bank Foundation.

Additionally, leadership teams of the University of Maryland Medical System/Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine each have contributed $1 million to the new tower. “We could not ask for the financial commitment of others without first asking ourselves,” said Rivest. “This gift and the leadership these individuals exemplify embody the spirit of our mission and is a legacy we are proud to support.”

To learn how you can support the Shock Trauma Critical Care Tower, visit: http://umm.edu/programs/shock-trauma/about/ways-to-help

Shock Trauma Critical Care Tower Construction Video >>

About the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center

The R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center is a worldwide leader in trauma care, and the heart of Maryland's unique Emergency Medical Services System. The first trauma center of its kind in the United States, Shock Trauma is an international model for civilian and military teams, and remains the epicenter for trauma research, patient care, and teaching, both nationally and internationally today. Shock Trauma is where the “golden hour” concept of trauma was born and where many of the life-saving practices in modern trauma medicine were pioneered.

About the University of Maryland Medical Center

The University of Maryland Medical Center is an 800-bed teaching hospital in Baltimore and the flagship institution of the 12-hospital University of Maryland Medical System. As a national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurocare, cardiac care, women's and children's health and physical rehabilitation, UMMC treats patients who are referred nationally and regionally for expertise in time-sensitive critical care medicine. UMMC also has one of the largest solid organ transplant programs in the country, performing more than 400 abdominal and thoracic transplants a year. All physicians on staff at the Medical Center are faculty physicians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Information about the new Shock Trauma Critical Care Tower at the University of Maryland Medical Center:

Facts and Figures

  • 140,000 square feet of new construction
  • Cost: approximately $160 million
  • 64 new private ICU patient rooms, all with ceiling-mounted patient lifts and surgical lights
  • 10 new operating rooms
  • New building cantilevers over Penn Street by 24 feet to maximize space on building footprint
  • Additional helipad designed to carry the weight of newest helicopters (i.e., President's Marine One); additional capacity allows space for 4 helicopters and enhances capability to receive patients via air medical transport
  • Expanded Adult and Pediatric Emergency Departments
  • 18 new bays in Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, centrally-located between the General ORs, Trauma ORs and Trauma Resuscitation Unit
  • 35 month construction project
  • Began occupancy of new space as soon as a unit was completed; First new space began occupancy in Spring 2012
  • Approximately 1,750 workers, expending over 874,000 man hours to complete the project
  • Major contractors:
    • Ballinger – Architecture/Engineering
    • Whiting Turner, with MBE partner Mahogany Construction
    • Homewood General Contractors – Carpentry
    • Centerline Construction - Drywall and Acoustics
    • TSI Exterior Wall Systems - Glass & Curtain Wall
    • The Bell Company - Plumbing and HVAC
    • Gill-Simpson – Electrical
    • Schuster Concrete - Concrete Structure


  • New public entrance on Lombard Street
  • New family and visitor lounge to enhance privacy
  • Gold level LEED certification pending with U.S. Green Building Council
  • New tower connected to the existing Shock Trauma building at every level except basement
  • Building designed with significant input from experienced Medical Center staff to maximize efficiency and enhance care of patients and their families
  • Pneumatic tube system for transporting lab samples and pharmacy deliveries expanded to include tube station at each nurses' station in the new and old building

In Progress

  • Healing Garden
  • Four Simulation Center training rooms to prepare military medical personnel prior to deployment

Thomas M. Scalea, M.D., FACS, Physician-in-Chief, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center

Shock Trauma Building

Shock Trauma ICU

Nurse in Shock Trauma

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