Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed March 2006)

Chief administrator: Gregory Wozniak, President and CEO, (215) 750-2000

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

Design team: James T. Crispino, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Suzanne R. O'Connell, Director, Healthcare Interior Design; Clarke Van Sant, RA, Project Manager; Thomas A. Singer, RA, Project Architect; Haley C. Driscoll, Project Interior Designer

Photography: ©2005 Don Pearse Photographers, Inc.

Total building area (sq. ft.): 20,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $490

Total construction cost (excluding land): $9,800,000

The St. Mary Medical Center Cardiothoracic Care Unit was developed to provide the highest quality of care for the growing needs of the community. Evidence-based design was an important component in the project. The design team worked closely to create a patient- and family-focused unit, integrating the latest technology while maintaining a comprehensive healing environment. Intense programming, planning, and design, followed by the development of finished mock-up rooms, allowed for final comments and collaboration on the rooms' functions, materials, and colors.

Features include 4 open-heart recovery rooms with direct connection to the Cardiac ORs via a dedicated elevator, 23 private cardiac care beds, and 26 semiprivate beds designed for conversion to private. Rooms include amenities to accommodate the patients' families such as occasional furniture, sofa beds, flat-screen TVs, and hotel-like toilet rooms. Materials used reflect a connection to nature.

The workstations are open for communication between family and staff. They include a workstation outside each room for direct visibility of patients. The vision glass is electric and easily changeable from clear to opaque.

The waiting area features groupings of hotel-like furnishings, a refreshment area, warm and rich materials, and a fish tank, visible from all sides. Soft lighting and artwork are an integral part of the program and are found throughout. Computer access and consult rooms providing overnight accommodations are available. Aesthetically, the corridors are designed to assist with wayfinding. Specific visitor entrances at each unit are defined with decorative woodwork and signage.

Collaborative space is available for staff to interact and be accessible. It accommodates social workers, dietitians, a pharmacist, and a respiratory team to support care delivery.