Located in Melbourne, Florida, Steward Health Care Melbourne Regional Medical Center (MRMC) opened its doors in June of this year to a 42,000-square-foot expansion creating a Spinal & Orthopedic Surgical Center of Excellence. Gresham Smith provided architecture, interior design, and experiential design and wayfinding services for the project, which gives MRMC the ability to perform complex procedures in a state-of-the-art environment, as well as the flexibility to increase its capacity as the community’s needs evolve.
My colleague Carrie Kovacs and I were fortunate to serve as interior designers on the project. In this post, I take a look at the new Spinal & Orthopedic Surgical Center of Excellence and how the expansion provides Brevard County and its surrounding areas with exceptional care—all while enabling surgeons and clinicians to learn about the latest surgical techniques.
Modern & Welcoming
The new dedicated entrance complements the existing facility. Our team focused on creating a modern, welcoming space that improves operational efficiencies, supports safety and elevates the patient experience. The one-story addition is connected to MRMC via an interior corridor and an outdoor, covered walkway. An exterior screen-wall shields the space from Florida’s harsh afternoon sunlight.
Adjacent to the new entrance, an imaginatively landscaped patio provides respite for patients, staff and family members. The courtyard takes advantage of the area between the hospital’s old and new buildings, creating a welcoming and aesthetically pleasing green space.
Attention to Detail
Inside, the modern, clean lobby design features integrated linear lighting and dynamic video displays. A window at the reception desk provides enhanced visibility of arriving visitors. Feature materials include a distinctive blue wallcovering that pays homage to Steward Health Care’s signature cobalt blue logo.
Keeping Pathogens at Bay
The Spinal & Orthopedic Surgical Center of Excellence boasts four new state-of-the-art operating rooms. With an eye on the future, shell space will allow four additional operating rooms to be added as demand increases. Designed to protect patients from any possible infection, each OR features wall-mounted equipment as well as seamless, heat-welded floors that eliminate hard-to-reach nooks and crannies for easy cleaning.
To mitigate the risk of airborne pathogens, a modular ceiling system organizes overhead equipment, while HEPA filters purify the incoming air, screening out microscopic contaminants that could put a patient at risk during surgery.
Also aiding infection control, items such as video monitors are set into the walls so nothing is left overhanging to gather dust or bacteria. The surgical suites feature powerful ultraviolet lights that activate when the ORs are unoccupied to kill bacteria and viruses in a continual sterilization process.
An Extra Layer of Care
The hospital’s new post-anesthesia care unit features 12 new Phase 1 PACUs that receive patients immediately after surgery, as well as 10 private areas for patients who are awake and ready to be discharged.
The 19 prep and recovery bays are arranged in a racetrack configuration around two centralized nurse stations and support areas, which enhances visibility for care teams while providing easy access to recovery rooms and support spaces.
A Place to Learn
Other key components of the Spinal & Orthopedic Surgical Center of Excellence include a simulation laboratory for learning new surgical techniques, as well as a classroom equipped with large monitors for observing surgical simulations in real-time.
Putting Patients First
More than just extra space, this comprehensive expansion and its strategic layout allows patients to benefit from the most advanced technologies and surgical techniques available today—all centered around patient safety and excellent outcomes.