Medical Center takes next step toward redevelopment

BJC HealthCare, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine are taking another step forward in the future development of the Washington University Medical Center.

A small group of architectural firms has been selected to submit a proposal for the role of executive architect. The executive architect will be chosen from among four firms with extensive expertise in health-care planning with a focus on leading academic medical centers.

“We are looking ahead to a complete transformation of the campus, and this phase is the first piece of the puzzle being put in place,” says Richard Liekweg, Barnes-Jewish Hospital president. “I want all employees and physicians to become as excited as I am about creating a new patient-care experience on campus that also will influence how we fulfill our teaching and research role.”

The executive architect will join a team that includes Gilbane Building Co. as the project’s program manager and a chief engineer and master builder, to be selected later this year. The entire team will be working with BJC’s planning, design and construction department.

“We are assembling a premier team to ensure that we create an environment and experience for patients that matches the excellence in medical care they expect when they arrive,” Liekweg says. “Although no specific buildings have been designed, our goal is to build a campus that is welcoming to patients and their families and easier and more intuitive to navigate.”

The improvements to the north campus will include an expansion of St. Louis Children’s Hospital with enlarged diagnostics and treatment spaces and conversion of semi-private rooms to offer more private rooms.

“This is a very special time in St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s 132-year history,” says Lee Fetter, president of St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “This institution has a regional and national reputation, and we aspire to continue enhancing our mission by providing the best care and services for the communities we serve.”

A partnership among Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the School of Medicine will consolidate obstetrics and gynecological services and move these services to the north campus. Additional space for faculty practice clinics, community physician practices and diagnostic spaces also will be included. Also on the north campus, revitalization will consolidate and expand clinical care at the Siteman Cancer Center and other surgical programs.

The south campus phase will focus on enhancements to support expanding heart and vascular programs, neurology and neurosurgery programs, transplant, trauma and critical care and general medicine programs. Again, there will be a focus on creating more critical-care capacity and more private inpatient rooms with a campus-wide private room availability increasing to at least 80 percent. In addition, improvements will be made to open and public areas, parking, ambulatory services and other sites throughout the campus.

The vision is to transform the campus over the next 10 years through renovations and new construction. Some of the principles behind this project are using a phased plan that allows for future growth while improving the campus and, most importantly, the patient experience.

“Our goal is to incorporate innovation into how we are approaching this project,” said Robert Cannon, group president, BJC. “This project is for the community and our patients.”