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Building Healthcare

Healthcare Construction e-News

Helping Our Clients Achieve Better Outcomes

Serving Those Who Have Served

Top Building Trends in Veteran Care

From building cutting-edge hospitals to renovating emergency departments and labs, the healthcare construction field is critical, challenging and constantly changing. Americans are living longer and there is a greater focus on prevention over treatment. As a result, builders are now being challenged by demands to do more with less, innovating with technology-centric health facilities and creating specialized centers for care. One of the fastest growing areas in the field is Veterans Homes and assisted care facilities designed to serve those who have served. 

This housing must accommodate veterans in various states of need, such as those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues, adaptive use and special needs features for those with physical injuries or mobility issues and adult daycare facilities. Christman is proudly constructing three Veterans Homes across the US, located in:

  • Chesterfield Township, MI ($65.5 million)
  • Grand Rapids, MI ($53.3 million)
  • Cleveland, TN ($39 million)

Among the construction projects most often desired are bed replacement projects, new construction and life safety standards. Many of the new structures will be designed to follow the Small House (SH) Model which consists of the houses, the neighborhood centers and community center, which is the current model for our Grand Rapids project.

Taking a deeper look at the Veterans Home facility being built in West Michigan, utilizing the Small House Model, one of the resident buildings has been designated as a memory care unit to accommodate residents with dementia and other similar conditions. A main feature of this unit is a Tek-Care 700 Wander Management System, allowing residents to move about freely without worrying that they will wander off, and without impeding the movements of staff or visitors. Additionally, in the community center, there will be an area for physical and occupational therapy. The space is designed to help rehabilitate our vets so that they can function on their own again. There is also a training kitchen fully equipped with the standard kitchen appliances that mimics your typical kitchen setting at home. It also includes a physical therapy garden located just outside the building equipped with various terrains (wood, concrete, rubber, paver, gravel) ramps, and steps to allow residents to work on their mobility.

“It is imperative that we always prioritize taking care of our nation’s veterans, and I feel an immense sense of pride to be a part of a team that is doing just that,” said Christman project engineer Andrew Irby, a Lieutenant, Infantry Platoon Leader and Bradley Commander in the TN Army National Guard. He is the lead engineer for the Tennessee Veterans Home project. “It’s a very reassuring feeling to know that I work for a company that cares about making a difference and leaving a lasting impression for our veterans. I genuinely appreciate, and am proud to be a part of such an influential team.”

Adapting to Our New Normal

Delivering the Best Patient Experience Through Facility Solutions

One of the most talked about and unknown questions healthcare providers face today is how hospitals and facilities will operate in an ongoing and a post-pandemic environment. Whether it’s the patient waiting rooms, staff offices or an emergency room, how will the hygienic and social distancing measures recently put into place translate into the new normal?

Forging the Path
Our partner hospitals were fast to enact cleaning procedures and customizations that set the bar for all consumer service organizations. There was rapid adoption of sneeze guards and handle-less door openers, among other solutions, and feedback shows that the demand is increasing. 

Christman’s millwork team in Texas transformed the waiting room spaces at several facilities for the Baylor Scott & White Health System (BSWH). Identifying safety options, and outfitting offices with separation partitions and sneeze guards, was just the beginning. Our construction experts are talking with providers to identify each location’s unique concerns and provide solutions to meet today’s challenges. 

Other facility safety measures include site signage and wayfinding, visitor and patient mask distribution, paperless intake, hands-free registration and an increase of virtual care visits. While it appears there is no one-size fits all solution, you’re likely already feeling the change. As these initiatives begin to take priority in your organization, Christman has been and remains available to provide facility modification options to improve patient healthcare access.

Standing as Your Partner
From a construction standpoint, unique collaboration between owners, designers and construction managers must take place, now even more than before. Having construction teams onsite at your facility will mean coordinated sanitation efforts and rapid space modifications to new guidelines, with an eye to your patient and staff concerns. Look to work with organizations who are prepared to deep clean, offer innovative safety and screening solutions and listen to your concerns as the primary influence to all construction decisions.

Throughout this uncertainty, one thing remains: you need a partner you can trust. Trust the team at Christman to answer the call providing support and expertise wherever it is needed.

Growth Feeds Success

Christman Expands Healthcare Construction Capabilities at Crucial Time for Hospitals and Medical Facilities

The good news is out! The Christman Company acquired MEDCO Construction from Texas-based Baylor Scott & White Health in March, 2020. The addition of this skilled team and complex project experience offers Christman the opportunity to provide project planning, virtual design and construction along with expert schedule and budget management to hospitals around the Dallas/Ft. Worth region. Together, we perfectly align to forge a collaborative and safe approach to construction services in light of the new challenges healthcare faces today. 

Clear Decision
MEDCO operated as the in-house construction partner for the Baylor Scott & White Health System for more than 55 years, and they were a perfect fit for Christman as we looked for strategic expansion in the Southwest Region. MEDCO had successfully delivered some of the most complex, state-of-the-art medical centers in Texas. Recognizing this impressive work history, we identified several alignment areas, which included focus and dedication to providing the best in healthcare services to our clients. 

What the Team is Saying
Christman’s Senior Vice President in Texas, Ken Norton, is excited to share our enhanced value-added services with our clients. “Christman has the complete ‘toolbox’ to provide true value, and we’ve been doing just that for more than 125 years,” Ken says. “We take pride in our competitive spirit – it’s one of our core values – but, the Christman approach also extends to maximizing value for the client’s investment. The benefit of working with Christman is found not only in the critical elements of quality, cost and schedule, but also in the partnership experience we bring to every project. We believe a great return on investment only gets better when it is founded on a great relationship with common goals.”

The effects of this acquisition will be felt by our healthcare clients beyond Texas. “We have strengthened the national network of expertise available to our healthcare clients and partners,” says Amy Baumer, vice president of business development and marketing. “Harnessing the immense breadth and depth of work translates into tangible benefits for safety, planning and site management at every stage of a project.”

Joining Christman from MEDCO, Vice President, Josh Grizzle, is ready to expand into new markets across the Dallas region as well. “Christman is everything clients enjoyed about MEDCO, just enhanced. MEDCO’s mission to provide expertise, invest in people and build relationships lives on at Christman. In fact, these values are part of what we now call The Christman Way.”  

What Can You Expect?
As a Christman partner, healthcare facilities can enjoy a robust collection of innovative services. These include new technologies for subcontractor identification, cutting edge safety practices and building information modeling services that improve your construction process. 

Christman also provides cost certainty through a nationwide Project Planning Group that boasts experts in all disciplines (including in-house MEP estimators) with the ability to determine accurate cost at all stages – from programming through design. Our new and larger team can help keep hospital projects on time and on budget, as we collaboratively define a project plan that offers improved functionality without sacrificing your priorities. And, in today’s economic environment, we remain dedicated to keeping you informed of the role current events may have on budget and schedule.

Christman is proud to welcome our new Texas team. Blending two great companies, to form a client-centered organization, when innovation and cost certainty are more important than ever, was simply the right thing to do.

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Ask a Healthcare Construction Expert

Brian C. Crissman, LEED AP, AVS
As vice president in Christman's West Michigan region, Brian is known for the energetic leadership he brings to the projects he directs - particularly large, complex ones, such as the Western Michigan University College of Engineering, Michigan Street Development, Spectrum Health Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion, and the Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital expansion.  Read more...