Project category: New construction (completed June 2003)

Chief administrator: Elizabeth Frye, MD, Senior Vice-President and Medical Director Ambulatory Programs, (708) 216-6770

Firm: VOA Associates Incorporated, (312) 554-1400

Design team: Percy E. Roberts III, AIA, Director of Design and Planning; John D. Helin, AIA, Project Manager; Steven G. Blye, AIA, Senior Designer; Maria Barillas, Interior Designer; Richard J. Basten, Jr., AIA, Technical Coordinator

Photography: Nick Merrick, Hedrich Blessing

Total building area (sq. ft.): 220,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $200

Total cost (excluding land): $44,059,745

The Midwest Outpatient Center is a comprehensive ambulatory facility where multidisciplinary specialists provide the latest patient treatments in a healing environment. Focused on “Treating the Human Spirit,” the center, which can accommodate 400,000 physician visits a year in 160 exam rooms, also embodies the mission and values of the affiliated health system.

The building's gracious curves, natural light, and openness provide a reference to the human spirit and reinforce the care objectives of the providers—that healing is based on the person, not the disease, and on the spiritual, as well as the physical, aspects of human experience. The exterior design mirrors the contemporary character of the three-story and nature-centered Winter Garden atrium, which incorporates glazing at both ends and skylights above. Furthermore, the Outpatient Center's “presence” meets the goal of anchoring the ambulatory care zone of the south campus, creating a strong focal point and an orienting “landmark.”

The Midwest Outpatient Center houses 14 multidisciplinary clinics built like “neighborhoods” and positioned in logical clusters. Patient and staff zones eliminate crossed flows but increase efficiency. The center also includes ambulatory cancer care. Combining state-of-the-art technology with healing-environment strategies, the Radiation Oncology area looks out onto a terraced Healing Garden of flowers and greenery to positively support the emotional needs of cancer patients.

The third component of the ambulatory care center is day surgery. Individual pre/postoperative patient rooms grouped in pods with mini nursing stations maximize privacy while decreasing preoperative anxiety and increasing postoperative comfort.