News Release

(PHILADELPHIA) – Jeffrey O’Neill, AIA, ACHA, senior project manager for the University of Pennsylvania Health System, has been appointed to the International Code Council (ICC) Ad Hoc Committee on Healthcare. The 15-person committee includes six other representatives from healthcare organizations, 2 architects, and six building and fire officials from across the United States.

A collaborative product of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) and the ICC, the committee will debate, review and edit proposals to change current international building codes regarding construction and safety at medical facilities.

“This is an important step in adding consistency to model building codes as it relates to healthcare construction, and I am proud and honored to be involved with the ICC Ad-Hoc Committee,” said O’Neill. “The continued work on construction projects with clinical, operational and safety professionals here at Penn Medicine gives me valuable insights to share with the ICC.”

The new committee sets out to eliminate contradictions between current local and federal code standards into one set of effective and efficient code guidelines for all hospital and ambulatory care facilities. For example, currently, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) follow National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes and municipalities follow ICC codes.  To perform most types of facility upgrades, medical facilities must follow the NFPA codes and the code for their municipality. When those codes conflict, such upgrades become more difficult.

The committee aims to ensure the highest levels of safety standards are followed in all hospital and ambulatory care facilities and will likely minimize future building costs by improving efficiency at the same time.

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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