Finding the right way to seamlessly and cost-effectively merge old and new is a knack we and our frequent partners AHFD have perfected over several decades of working with community hospitals. So when Phelps Memorial Health Center, a 45+ year old critical access hospital in Nebraska, approached us to literally rebuild their hospital around some of their recent investments, we were ready for the challenge. They’d already made one attempt with a master plan developed by a competitor. This competitive plan would have taken 36 months to construct and would have still left Phelps with an aging building housing new services. JJCA’s design combines all patient services into new space with administration services utilizing existing space.
Phase 2A of of the project, 26,300 square feet of new construction, is near completion with an open house scheduled for June 1. This phase includes Same Day Surgery, a new lab, a new emergency department, a new front lobby and entrance canopy, admissions, a new kitchen and dining area, and a connector into the existing building.
According to CEO Mark Harrel, not only was the recent phase completed on-time and under budget, but the patients are so comfortable in the new surroundings that they don’t seem to want to leave!
The remaining two phases, 2B and 2C will focus on renovation. Phase 2B is underway.
“JJCA knows healthcare, and this showed very early in the process. It was obvious that JJCA not only had experience, but had developed best practices that would clearly be of benefit to us.” That’s the first thing Mark Harrel, CEO of Phelps Memorial Health Center in Holdrege, Nebraska says about his experience in working with the team at JJCA.
The process of selecting an architect can be a tough one. Everyone will say they have experience or that they will do the best job. Mark says that what impressed him was the fact that we really listened to what Phelps needed, and then offered a variety of alternatives that were focused on meeting those expectations in the most effective way.
“Of course there were many things we wanted to accomplish, like transforming the hospital from something that looked, felt and even sounded institutional into a quiet, calming and healing environment. JJCA hit the mark on this, making the hospital feel more like a hotel, but without going over the top in terms of cost. In fact the staff kids that maybe it’s a little too nice because the patients don’t want to go home!”
But when it gets down to the real nitty gritty, a top priority for Mark – and any CEO launching into a building project – is to minimize change orders:
“JJCA not only met but exceeded our expectations on change orders. Nearly all of the change orders have been our own. Ironically, a number of them related to us reverting back to many of the items we asked JJCA to change about their original drawings. It is truly amazing to be able to say that we finished our project ahead of schedule and under budget. The reason that the project has been so successful is that it has been a true team effort – hospital, architect and contractor. JJCA’s responsiveness is second to none, no ball gets dropped. I’ve never seen a more efficient communication process. The meeting minutes seemed to arrive almost before a meeting ended. “
“JJCA made my life as a CEO easy. This project didn’t keep me up at night and that’s really unusual for a building project of this type.”
We’re really proud of our work at Phelps Memorial Health Center. We’re proud that the patients find it so comfortable they don’t want to leave. We’re honored to have worked with such a great team, including Mark Harrel, his staff, and our partners at AHFD and Brasfield & Gorrie. And it’s good to know that a regular dose of JJCA helps CEO Mark Harrel sleep well at night!
When it comes to vintage base ball, JJCA’s Tim Morgan is a true artist, hurling one pluck after another over the dish resulting in a quick three hands dead. (Translation: Tim’s a proficient player, throwing one strike after another over home plate to get three quick outs. ) Tim is part of a new base ball league that’s anything but new when it comes to the rules, the uniforms and especially, the terminology. For now, there are only two teams in the Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball League, but that is expected to grow. In the first official game, held Sunday, May 5th, the Franklin Farriers and the Nashville Maroons duked it out, with Tim’s team, the Farriers, scoring 5 “tallies” in the 9th inning to tie the game and then beating the Maroons by one “tally” in the 10th inning. It was an exciting start to this throwback to how the game (originally two words, base ball) was played in the 1860′s!
Eighteen years is a really long time. And in today’s society, when people change jobs nearly as often as they change their socks, eighteen years is an eternity. So it was bittersweet to celebrate Julia Covington’s eighteen-year career with JJCA in March and to wish her luck as she “heads back to college”. We will stay in touch with Julia, our partner and friend, as she begins her new career as Associate Director of Campus Planning for Vanderbilt University.
Julia has left an indelible mark on all of us for which we are very grateful. Her work at JJCA was characterized by upbeat personal service, a cheerful disposition, and dedication to her clients and projects. The transition has gone very smoothly and if you would like more information, let David Brown or David Johnson know!
Winners have been announced from our recent JJCA “Wellness” contest. We’re a competitive lot here, and what could be better than a little “healthy” competition among a team of healthcare architects?
Our 8-week contest had two components:
The person with the largest percentage of weight loss, Ben Lorance, won a $300 gift certificate. (Wonder if he’s going to use that for some double Whoppers or workout gear?!)
Participants in this component of the contest were competing for most improved in their choice of three out of five fitness options: push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, 1.5 mile run, and number of elliptical strides in 15 minutes. 80% of the score was based on improvement during the 8-week period of time and 20% of the score was based on participation during the 8-week period of time.
With practically a tie in overall points, Linda Mark and Jason Putnal split the $300 gift certificate in this category.
Congratulations to everyone who participated, and to our winners!