Porter Regional Hospital

  • Gregory A. Gore

    Gregory A. Gore AIA, NCARB

    Senior Architect, Principal Contact
Valparaiso, IN, United States of America
Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation

Built in Valparaiso, Indiana, in 1939, Porter Memorial Hospital served as a county-owned hospital for almost 70 years. Sold to Community Health Systems (CHS) in 2007, the aging public facility was no longer meeting the medical needs of the region’s rapidly growing Porter, Lake, Jasper, Newton and Starke counties. In need of a new hospital that would better serve a region on the rise, CHS commissioned GS&P to design its new replacement facility, to be renamed Porter Regional Hospital.

Set to be situated on 40 acres of a new 104-acre site conveniently located on the northwest corner of U.S. 6 and Indiana 49, the client’s primary goal for the new six-story, 450,000-square-foot replacement hospital was that it be designed with the total patient experience in mind. To achieve this, GS&P optimized the planning and operational aspects of the design to not only gain efficiencies, but also create a healing environment that features natural light and views, spacious and comfortable public areas, and soothing colors and materials. In addition, the multidisciplinary team worked closely with hospital staff and physicians to fine-tune floor plans and ensure that the new facility emphasized safety, convenience and advanced-quality care. GS&P’s design also allows for future growth by providing soft functions—such as storage and circulation—at points where expansion will occur, preventing unnecessary interruption of services during periods of development.

Almost twice the size of the original hospital, the award-winning 229-bed replacement facility includes a 32-bed ICU, a total of 12 ORs including seven general ORs; two orthopedic ORs; two cardiac ORs (one of which is a future hybrid OR); a cystoscopy OR; 36 outpatient rooms; an emergency department; radiology; and the Women & Children’s Pavilion. Encompassing the patient tower’s entire fourth floor, the family-centered facility includes nine LDRs; a newborn nursery; spacious and private postpartum rooms; a child-friendly pediatric unit; two C-section rooms; and a Level II+ NICU with 14 private rooms.

Considered a heart hospital within a hospital, the Center for Cardiovascular Medicine is located on the facility’s first floor providing advanced cardiovascular services. Featuring 13 private cardiac rooms, four cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology rooms, two future cardiac catheterization rooms and its own prep and recovery suite, the Center was specifically designed to provide comprehensive evaluation, consultation, and medical and surgical management of diseases of the heart and circulatory system. The design team consolidated four departments and three floors of services for the Center to one central location with a dedicated entrance. The ICU, ED and Women’s & Children’s Pavilion spaces were also consolidated and designed for maximum operational efficiency.

At the new Porter Regional Hospital, patients, staff and visitors benefit from improved adjacencies, clear access points and enhanced wayfinding that provide quick routes between departments, and a natural, intuitive flow through interior spaces. In the old facility, more than 100 yards separated the emergency department from the nearest radiology room. In the new hospital, GS&P’s design places radiology across the hall from the ED, reducing the travel distance to just eight feet and saving vital minutes that can often mean the difference between life and death when it comes to trauma, stroke and chest pain patients. GS&P’s sustainable design earned a Two Green Globes rating from the Green Building Initiative, indicating the design demonstrates excellent progress in the reduction of environmental impacts and the use of environmental efficiency practices. The innovative design also garnered the Excellence in Construction Award and Merit Award from Tennessee Associated Builders and Contractors in the Mega-Projects category. In addition to the new hospital, GS&P designed the three-story, 60,000-square-foot MOB that supports the facility with outpatient services.

“Porter Regional Hospital was built with the total patient experience in mind. GS&P’s innovative hospital design emphasizes efficiency, safety, comfort, convenience and advanced quality care. Thanks to all involved, Porter Regional Hospital will provide a patient experience unlike any other in the region – offering the greatest level of clinical efficiency, advanced technology and patient convenience.”

Brian Sinotte, COO
Porter Health Care System

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