Sacred Heart Hospital (SHH), an urban center in Allentown, was challenged by an outgrown and outdated Emergency Department, a primary source of healthcare for the inner-city community.

The $5.1 million, 24,000-square-foot project included expanding the ED and consolidating both outpatient/registration and outpatient radiology services. The new 16,000-square-foot ED (previously 8,000 square feet) features 2 major treatment rooms; 11 acute rooms, including isolation and secure holding; a 6-bed observation unit; and a 6-station, fast-track treatment area. The new 8,000-square-foot Outpatient Services includes a new lobby/waiting area, a 5-station registration/admitting area, and preadmission testing/radiology services.

Francis Cauffman Foley Hoffmann worked closely with SHH administrators, physicians, and ED staff. The complex planning/phasing process allowed the existing ED to remain fully operational while maintaining the same number of treatment areas throughout construction. The main treatment area, with its centralized nurses’/doctors’ station and support facilities, is surrounded by patient spaces, maximizing visibility and accessibility to equipment. Enclosed patient rooms with sliding glass doors allow medical personnel better observation to care areas while providing patients with a more secure, private environment. A warm, upbeat color palette helps further comfort patients during their stay.

In addition to supporting the community-at-large, SHH treats mental health and correctional facility populations. Its new state-of-the-art ED is designed to handle the high volume of patients, and it allows medical staff to continue to provide quality, fast-track medical care.

Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed January 2004)

Chief administrator: Terri Martis, Director, Facilities Management, (610) 776-4628

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

Design team: James T. Crispino, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Ronald O. Pilgreen, AIA, Project Manager; Kenneth S. Kramer, AIA, Project Planner; Pat DiStefano, Project Architect; Jennifer C. Fink, Interior Designer

Photography: © Don Pearse Photographers, Inc.

Total building area (sq. ft.): 24,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $213

Total cost (excluding land): $5,100,000