The World Health Organization celebrates World Health Day 2021 with the goal to build a “fairer, healthier world.” This aligns with Design Collaborative’s mission to create People-First Places, specifically through the Healthcare team and projects. We design healthcare spaces with the goal of ensuring that all communities have access to quality health services and facilities.
The Fort Wayne Rescue Mission was a project close to the hearts of DC. This new facility is serving hundreds of homeless individuals in the community and holds an on-site health clinic which provides care for many underserved community members. The clinic helps with medication management, insurance assistance, health education, mental health, and more. Christine Howell, BSN, RN, HN-BC, one of the nurses providing on-site medical care and education at The Rescue Mission, says that many of those who come to the Rescue Mission “have had no medical care for years. Having us to help them through the barriers to care is essential. It empowers them to be healthy. They smile when they get teeth. They’re successful when they can read. They don’t have headaches when their blood pressure is improved. They experience less pain when they have had a hip replaced. They have more of an opportunity to be their best selves.” The Rescue Mission clinic is providing care to those who’ve never had access to health care in their lives, and is creating opportunities for them to live successful, independent, fulfilling lives.
The Van Wert County Hospital Association serves Van Wert County, Ohio and adjacent communities as a financially independent nonprofit community health system. Their mission is to provide the best care and services to the Northwest Ohio community.
The new, two-story addition and renovation of the existing Emergency Department for Van Wert Health houses modern surgery and inpatient services, which increases patient access to care and reestablishes this health system as a premier system in the region. To demonstrate a renewed commitment to the community, vibrant and engaging clinical care environments for patients, family, and staff were designed and developed. Heavy investment in technology, from patient rooms to a robotic OR brought the previously aging hospital up to modern standards. The balance of warm wood tones and clean, bright details convey a sense of calmness and confidence to patients and their families. The new main lobby and parking area were built to give patients and visitors a more comfortable and convenient hospital experience and a more modern aesthetic. The higher quality of care that can now be offered through Van Wert Health is significant for the surrounding community and allows for more people to be served.
In May of 2020, Design Collaborative completed the renovation of Lima, Ohio’s primary and specialty care clinic spaces; the Veteran’s Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Center (VA CBOC). The new design enables easier access to care for Veterans by consolidating multiple services and providers into one area, as well as integrating prosthetic services to minimize patient travel to separate locations.
Building on a legacy of care tailored exclusively to Veterans, the VA recently adopted new Standards of Care, which were integrated into this facility’s design. The new space includes 24 exam rooms for podiatry, ophthalmology, audiology, and mental health specialties, along with primary care. Transitioning from narrow, closed traditional office spaces, the new floor plan is open and vibrant with improved workflow, flexibility, and patient care.
The primary care area design is based on a Patient-Aligned Care Team (PACT) model, which pools providers in a common work area separate from main patient traffic flow. The PACT promotes collaboration among the providers and helps maintain patient information privacy. Another advantage of the PACT is that provider workstations, as well as the adjacent exam rooms, are flexible and shared throughout the week, promoting greater efficiencies and requiring less square footage.
“We were excited to work with the Veterans Affairs staff on this project and provide an updated space for Veteran care,” stated Bill Ledger, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, LEED AP, senior associate and director of healthcare design for Design Collaborative. “Ultimately, the goal was to improve the quality of primary and specialty care for Veterans in the community, and the space definitely achieves this mission.”
We are proud to take steps towards building a fairer, healthier world along with the World Health Organization. It is our desire to enable everyone to live healthier lives, one community, one building, and one person at a time.