The Emergency Center plays a pivotal role at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, as 60% of patients admitted come through the Emergency Center. To remain viable and competitive in a fast-growing community, services needed to be restructured and the facilities redesigned. The renovation and expansion project increased the size of the EC by 50%. The addition maximized the allowable building area and made possible a second story. The two-level addition created a design feature with a new canopy covering six ambulance spaces; this provided separation between ambulances and walk-in patients.

Because of space constraints, visits to the existing EC were stressful for patients. Stretchers were parked in corridors, and privacy and confidentiality were inadequate. The FastCare Program offered considerable growth potential for the hospital, but lack of dedicated space prevented this program from achieving that potential.

PROJECT CATEGORY New Construction and Remodel/Renovation (completed April 2002)

CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR Ruth M. Thomas, Vice-President Facilities and Real Estate Management, (610) 853-7225

FIRM Francis Cauffman Foley Hoffmann Architects, Ltd., (215) 568-8250

DESIGN TEAM James Crispino, Principal, Director of Planning; Mohammad Hossain, Project Manager; Kenneth Kramer, Planner; Kasia Tarniewicz, Architectural Designer; Donna McDaniel, Interior Designer

PHOTOGRAPHY © Don Pearse Photographers, Inc.

BED CAPACITY 25 (total) (18 acute, 2 resuscitation, 1 holding, 3 fast track, 1 isolation)


TOTAL LAND AREA (ACRES) Part of hospital campus


The “racetrack” plan melds the new and the existing facilities, providing clear circulation paths and excellent sight lines for patient monitoring. Open nurses' stations facilitate communication and visibility. Equipment storage alcoves at the nurses' stations reduce clutter. To allow for flexibility, treatment rooms are universally equipped, even in FastCare, and have the infrastructure for future bedside registration.

Colors and finishes are light and airy. A window wall runs the length of the waiting area, where the curved soffits mirror the floor pattern. Lighting is both decorative and functional, and perforated indirect fixtures in corridors eliminate glare. An overall floor pattern unifies the clinical areas.

The Emergency Center remained operational throughout the construction