PPMC-buildingImportant Changes to Help Us Reach our Goals

In today’s world, investing in buildings, facilities and equipment is essential to helping an organization maintain its leadership position.  But just as important is the overall strategy taken to complete these projects.

In planning these ‘capital investments,’ Penn Medicine leaders follow a ‘no regrets’ approach, said Kevin Mahoney, SVP, chief administrative officer, and vice dean, Integrative Services. “Each immediate step along the way to your long-term goals needs to be worthwhile and stand on its own merits, in case you need to delay future projects due to changes in the economy or health care delivery .”

Read below to see how our expansion strategy will take us successfully into the future.

Expanding 'Outside of the Box’  

HUP has over 800 licensed beds but that’s not always enough to keep up with the demand for its inpatient services. And expansion is clearly a problem; the hospital is boxed in on all sides. To overcome this obstacle, Penn Medicine leadership had to think ‘outside of the box’:  an inpatient tower with approximately 300 private beds across the street, where the Penn Tower building and garage now stand. 

Although the new hospital patient tower is still many years away – and not yet approved by the Board of Trustees – the multistep process paving the way for its eventual construction has already started.  In April, construction began on the South Pavilion Extension, a five-floor expansion being built over the dock of the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine. Its 200,000 square feet, will house almost all outpatient services remaining in HUP. This relocation of outpatient services will, in turn, open space at HUP to move the departments and services currently in Penn Tower into the hospital (or other locations), in preparation for razing the building and garage.

But, as Garry Scheib, COO of the Health System and HUP’s executive director, noted, the SPE stands on its own. “Moving most of our outpatient practices into Perelman will not only improve the patient experience, it will also help us increase our outpatient services.”

Taking down the Penn Tower garage is more than another step towards our goal. It’s a necessity, considering its age -- it was built in 1974 -- and the significant use it receives each day. Construction of a 1000-car garage adjacent to Lot 51 to replace spaces in the garage (and then some) has already begun. The new construction will also have the ability to support several floors above it, to provide more adminstrative, research or education space in the future.

In addition to ongoing construction, other projects at HUP include three new ORs, the relocation and expansion of Pharmacy’s inpatient operations to more efficiently meet the demand for medications throughout the hospital, and expansion of the cell therapeutics facility to help us stay at the forefront of promising developments in stem cell and cell vaccine technology.


Transforming the Penn Presbyterian Campus

As a means of improving the overall work environment for faculty and staff, and making its facilities more patient-focused, Penn Presbyterian leadership has also made plans for several projects that will serve to transform and modernize the Penn Presbyterian campus.

In an effort to continue providing a culture of excellence, Penn Presbyterian will break ground this fall on the new Penn Center for Specialty Care. The project, which is scheduled for completion in late 2014, will be located at 3737 Market Street and will include approximately 120 new exam rooms, six outpatient operating rooms, outpatient radiology services and a co-location of Good Shepherd Penn Partners rehabilitation services.

“This expansion will provide PPMC faculty and staff with the infrastructure necessary to better serve the Powelton Avenue, West Philadelphia, and even the Greater Philadelphia communities,” said Michele Volpe, CEO of Penn Presbyterian. “Since PPMC was founded in 1871, it has proved to be a leader in providing top-quality patient care. Our new building will only further reinforce our commitments to excellence, our patients, and our community.”

In addition to the new building and expansion project, PPMC is currently working on several other renovation projects to upgrade existing facilities and offer an improved patient experience. Practice spaces on the first and fifth floors in the Scheie Eye Institute are currently undergoing an $8 million renovation. Additionally, as part of a renovation effort scheduled to be completed at the end of FY13, noise-reducing strategies are being added to 3 East. The unit will also receive new furniture and equipment, as well as a “face lift” to the floors, ceiling and counters.

Continuing its efforts to make facilities more patient-focused, Penn Presbyterian recently completed a full renovation and refurbishment of the Skilled Nursing Facility, and a new Interventional Radiology room and recovery suite.


Big Moves to Stay Modern and Competitive

While major construction and renovation projects are a huge undertaking for any hospital, they are especially challenging for an inner city hospital – particularly the nation’s first and oldest hospital located in one of the most historic sections of Philadelphia. But, with Penn Medicine at Washington Square (PMWS) and other construction projects underway, Pennsylvania Hospital is pushing ahead.

The hospital’s Private Room Initiative is the long-range driving force behind many of its current construction projects, including PMWS. This is a strategic move to keep PAH a viable and competitive institution. “These changes aren’t just cosmetic,” said Michael Buckley, MD, executive director of PAH. “We need to expand and upgrade to help us better accommodate and serve our patients, visitors and employees and to stay at the forefront of modern medicine.”

PAH’s first private patient rooms – which will be for post-partum and orthopaedic patients -- will be located on the 6th and 7th floors of the Preston building. The final design of the private rooms will be based on feedback from the Large Design Counsel (representatives from throughout the hospital helping to design the ‘patient room of the future’), open houses for employees and staff showing a private patient room prototype, and an easy online survey on the PAH Intranet site.  Actual construction of the units will begin January 2013.

To help provide the necessary space,  two specialty labs – histology and immunochemistry (IHC) – were moved to and integrated with the laboratory at 3020 Market Street, where IHC labs from HUP and PPMC are currently housed. The addition of the PAH specialty labs will standardize processes and quality across the Health System, with a significant cost savings.

As space is created for private patient room renovations, steel is quickly rising at the PMWS site. The 153,000-square-foot facility will serve as the major locus of outpatient care for 8th and Walnut Streets. It is being constructed atop an existing parking garage, which will provide immediate convenience for patients and visitors. CPUP and CCA practices are slated to move into the 12-story, eco-friendly tower in the fall of 2013. Multiple departments currently spread across seven buildings around the PAH campus will come together in the new central location, just down the street from the main Hospital.

Like the Perelman Center, the Penn Center for Specialty Care and Penn Medicine at Washington Square are setting the stage for convenient, interdisciplinary care and, ultimately, a better patient experience.


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