The Joseph Z. & Louise H. Ornelas Tower at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital is a 254,336-sq.-ft., six-story expansion that includes a new state-of-the-art Heart Institute and Surgery Center. The tower also includes additional patient rooms, nurses' stations, and work areas for staff.

The new surgical facility has 16 surgical suites providing the latest in minimally invasive surgical technology, with expanded cardiovascular, orthopedic, and neurosurgical capabilities, creating the largest surgical suites in the region. A laboratory is located on the ground floor, the new Surgery Center on the first floor, the Heart Institute on the third floor, and patient rooms on floors four, five, and six.

Project category: Addition (completed May 2004)

Chief administrator: Kyle Rutherford, Construction Project Manager, (903) 531-4368

Firm: WHR Architects, Inc., (713) 665-5665

Design team: Robert Detamore, AIA, ACHA, Project Mana-ger; Charles Cadenhead, AIA, FACHA, Senior Medical Planner; Manolo DePerio, AIA, Designer; Roseanne Pisklak, IIDA, AAHID, Interior Designer; Necial Crow, IIDA, AAHID, Interior Designer

Photography: Greg Hursley

Total building area (sq. ft.): 254,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $205

Total construction cost (excluding land): $52,000,000


The design of the rooms creates a warm and inviting environment. New science was incorporated throughout the facility, with healing concepts that provide the patient with a soothing, warm, and natural environment were incorporated, as well. One key feature is a rooftop garden where a patient can join friends and family while convalescing. Spacious patient rooms are 300 to 539 square feet and include dedicated family space for overnight stays. The new patient rooms also include a computer phone port and a seating area.

Other customer services offered at the Ornelas Tower include special assistance in arranging overnight accommodations for families who are not from the immediate area, complimentary valet parking, clinical liaisons and digital pagers for families in surgery and ICU waiting, daily patient e-mail delivery, a room assistance number to call for needed guest items, and a complimentary daily copy of the Tyler Morning Telegraph.