UMMC Begins Construction of New Trauma Clinical Care Building

For immediate release: May 13, 2010


Karen E. Warmkessel

[email protected] | 410-328-8919

New tower at Penn and Lombard Sts. will house 10 operating rooms, 64 critical care beds

The University of Maryland Medical Center is starting construction of a $160 million, nine-floor trauma/critical care building that will significantly expand its renowned Shock Trauma Center. The new facility will also boost the capacity of the medical center's adult and pediatric emergency departments and provide additional beds for intensive care patients.

The 140,000-square-foot building at the corner of Penn and Lombard streets will house 10 state-of-the-art operating rooms and 64 new and replacement critical care beds. The new addition will be connected to the existing R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Building. It will also have a second landing pad on the roof for Medevac and Maryland ExpressCare helicopters.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on May 13, 2010. Gov. Martin O'Malley and U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger will join medical center leaders for the celebration. In addition, the medical center will announce a major fundraising campaign led by Sen. Francis X. Kelly with Cal Ripken, Jr., serving as the honorary chairman.

“Shock Trauma serves thousands of patients every year with the most renowned trauma and critical care available,” says Governor O'Malley. “This expansion will not only increase the Shock Trauma Center's capacity to serve the people of the region, but it will also create hundreds of jobs during its construction and after its doors are opened. We're proud to have committed the funding necessary to make this expansion possible, as we continue to deliver results together to move our state forward.”

“Our Shock Trauma Center currently serves nearly 8,000 patients annually in a 20-year-old building originally designed for 3,500 patients,” says Jeffrey A. Rivest, president and chief executive officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center.

“This new building will greatly enhance our capacity to treat patients who need the highest level of trauma, emergency and surgical critical care. We know that there will be increasing demand for trauma and other emergency services, as well as surgical and critical care, in the coming years,” Rivest says. For example, the medical center estimates that it will handle nearly 80,000 emergency department visits a year by 2016, compared with nearly 64,000 visits in 2008.

The new building ”“ which has a total of nine floors (seven stories plus basement and ground levels) ”“ is scheduled to be completed in 2013, although renovation of adjacent floors in the existing Shock Trauma Center could continue into early 2014.

Whiting-Turner, a Baltimore-based firm, is the construction manager for the project. “We expect the project to generate about 300 construction jobs and have a significant impact on the local economy,” says Leonard Taylor, Jr., vice president of facilities. He adds that the medical center's goal is to have 25 percent of the work performed by minority contractors.

By the time the building is completed, the medical center expects to have added another 250 employees to its work force to staff the expanded areas. Currently, the medical center has more than 6,800 employees.

The building was designed by Ballinger, a Philadelphia, Pa.-based architectural firm, in an “environmentally sustainable” way and is expected to meet criteria for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council as a “green” building, according to Taylor.

“LEED certification means that a building is constructed to be environmentally responsible by reducing energy consumption and cutting waste, both during construction and when the building is in use,” Taylor says. “To meet LEED silver or gold standards, the project will incorporate a variety of planning, design and construction strategies that include everything from high-efficiency lighting fixtures and bicycle racks to sophisticated heat-recovery systems and occupancy-sensing lighting controls.” The University of Maryland Medical Center has won a number of awards for its “green” initiatives to conserve energy and preserve the environment.

The entrance to the building will be on Lombard Street, just west of the connection to the Weinberg Building. There will be a reception desk and waiting area for Shock Trauma visitors and family members on the first floor. People coming to the medical center's expanded adult and pediatric emergency departments will use a separate entrance located in the Weinberg Building.

“The new building also will house a newly created National Trauma and Emergency Medicine Training Center,” says Thomas M. Scalea, M.D., physician-in-chief of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and the Francis X. Kelly professor of trauma surgery and head of the Program in Trauma at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

“The training center will be a technologically advanced simulation facility where we will be able to replicate conditions in the hospital and on the battlefield to enhance the skills of both civilian and military health care professionals,” adds Dr. Scalea. The training center will have four simulation rooms and be located on the new building's first floor.

Shock Trauma has played a major role in training military personnel. Since 2001, U.S. Air Force surgeons, nurses and technicians have been coming to Shock Trauma for training through the Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills (C-STARS) program.

“This new facility allows us to grow our world-class patient care enterprise and provides the infrastructure to expand our outstanding shock, trauma and anesthesiology research program,” says E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., acting president, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “It will help us to remain at the forefront of clinical and translational investigations to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of traumatic injuries and shock.”

The state has committed $50 million over five years for the medical center's expansion. There is also a $2.4 million federal appropriation for state-of-the-art equipment in the new operating rooms, and more federal support is anticipated.

“For several decades, Shock Trauma has been saving lives, including my own, and has been operating well beyond capacity for far too long. This expansion means Shock Trauma will be able to save even more lives for years to come. I am proud to have played a part in making this important project a reality,””ª”ª says Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. The congressman has been instrumental in helping to secure federal funding for the new building.

Karen E. Doyle, M.B.A., M.S., R.N., vice president of the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, notes that many nurses and other staff members were involved in planning the new building, looking at work-flow issues, as well as patient safety and comfort. “First and foremost, we wanted the new space to be patient- and family-centered in addition to making sure it would be user-friendly for our staff,” Doyle says.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors will each have 16 new private rooms grouped into intensive care units, with individual charting alcoves between the rooms that enable nurses to see the patients and carefully monitor their condition.

The new building is Phase IV of the University of Maryland Medical Center's strategic facilities expansion plan. The existing Shock Trauma Center opened in 1989, the Homer Gudelsky Building opened in 1994 and the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Building opened in 2003.


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