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VCU Health receives 2016 Vista Award for renovation, expansion of emergency department

Deborah Davis, chief operating officer of VCU Hospitals; Leslie Hanson, principal and senior vice president in the Richmond office of the architecture firm HKS Inc.; and Larry Little, vice president of support services and planning, VCU Health System, with the Vista Award plaque.
Deborah Davis, chief operating officer of VCU Hospitals; Leslie Hanson, principal and senior vice president in the Richmond office of the architecture firm HKS Inc.; and Larry Little, vice president of support services and planning, VCU Health System, with the Vista Award plaque.

The American Society of Healthcare Engineering, a personal membership group of the American Hospital Association, announced that VCU Health has won a 2016 Vista Award for the execution and completion of its renovated, 67,000-square-foot Department of Emergency Medicine.

VCU Health was one of only three hospital teams given the award for either construction, renovation or infrastructure projects that exemplify collaboration in creating optimal health care environments. ASHE said each winning team exemplified outstanding teamwork in all stages of their respective health care projects, from planning to the final reveal.

The VCU Health renovation was executed in four phases and included a new advanced trauma resuscitation room and a state-of-the-art renovation of the pediatric emergency room, the triage area and radiology services. The emergency department is on the ground floor of VCU Medical Center in downtown Richmond. More than 98,000 patients are treated there each year, including more than 4,000 trauma patients.

VCU Health officials said the award is a reflection of stellar departmental collaboration, among other attributes.

“It is a great honor because the award is given for collaboration and teamwork in addition to excellence in design and construction,” said Robert Reardon, chief facilities officer for VCU Health.

The VCU Advanced Trauma Resuscitation Room is uniquely designed to handle mass trauma events such as those caused by natural disasters, large-scale accidents and terrorist attacks. Photos courtesy of University Relations.
The VCU Advanced Trauma Resuscitation Room is uniquely designed to handle mass trauma events such as those caused by natural disasters, large-scale accidents and terrorist attacks. Photos courtesy of University Relations.

The renovation’s final phase, completed in 2014, included new treatment areas for the care of patients experiencing a medical emergency such as stroke or heart attack, and an area devoted to the care of behavioral health emergencies. VCU Medical Center is the only Level I trauma center in Central Virginia nationally verified by the American College of Surgeons, the highest level of trauma center verification in the United States.  

Hundreds of VCU Health team members working together made this a success.

Prior to the renovations, the emergency department had not been improved except for routine maintenance and equipment upgrades since it opened in 1982, Reardon said. The department entered Vista’s national competition in hopes of being recognized for what it deemed an exceptional job of completing renovations while still serving patients.

“This was an extremely difficult project in that we had to completely rebuild the emergency department while maintaining current operations,” Reardon said. “Hundreds of VCU Health team members working together made this a success.”

The Vista Awards will be presented at the 2016 International Summit and Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design & Construction in San Diego, March 20–23.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 225 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Seventy-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. The VCU Health brand represents the health sciences schools of VCU, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.