McGuire Ambulatory Health Care Center is the largest military outpatient facility in the United States. It is a 160,000-square-foot ambulatory care/family practice center serving the outpatient healthcare needs of more than 82,000 active-duty and retired U.S. Air Force personnel and their families. This care had previously been provided at Walson Hospital, which had been determined to be functionally outdated and structurally unsound. Recognizing the need to improve the level of service and care, the U.S. Air Force proposed a new ambulatory care center that would enhance the quality of life for military personnel by providing medical care in an aesthetic environment comparable to private-sector facilities, while adhering to U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers design standards and guidelines.

This facility features flexible clinical suites with specialty diagnostic and treatment areas. Functional program areas include a robotic pharmacy, family practice, pediatrics, gynecology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, optometry, emergency medicine, ENT/audiology, flight medicine and mental health. Specialty program areas include ambulatory surgery, radiology and physical/occupational therapy.

The U.S. Air Force medical facilities design staff expressed a vision for a “flexible clinic fabric” concept, with the ability to expand when necessary. To accommodate their request, clinics were configured with 87 universal exam rooms to allow for future change and growth. In addition, all physicians' offices within the clinics have been provided with the necessary capability to readily convert into exam rooms.

The architectural focus of the facility is provided by the mall, which includes unique elements such as a grand stairway, central rotunda with pyramidal sky window, circulation bridges, built-in seating and departmental reception kiosks. Skylights extending the length of the facility provide natural light and promote a feeling of wellness in an atrium setting.

The result is a state-of-the-art facility that is both simple and efficient. The exterior materials, including a dark-brown brick (McGuire AFB design guideline standard), were chosen to visually unify the diverse building components and relate contextually to other structures on the McGuire AFB site. Entrances are located on the east and west sides of the facility.

The McGuire Ambulatory Care Center is a symbol of the commitment made by the U.S. Air Force to provide the highest level of medical services to Air Force personnel and their families. It offers an array of services in an environment that enhances the well-being of its patients, staff and visitors


PROJECT CATEGORY New Construction (completed February 2001)

CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR Colonel Pamela Reidy, (609) 754-9305

FIRM Ewing Cole Cherry Brott, (215) 923-2020

DESIGN TEAM Stephen Hanson, Robert Philbrick (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers); Steve Lyman (305th Civil Engineer Squadron); Colonel Pamela Reidy (305th Medical Group); Lt. Jennifer Gruenwald (USAF HFO-ER)

PHOTOGRAPHY Jeffrey Totaro