A Milwaukee-based architectural firm has been chosen to design Columbus Regional Healthcare System’s new center for women and children’s services, officials said today.
After beating out 10 other firms in a nationwide search, Kahler Slater was chosen to head the design project.
“We are thrilled by our decision,” said Lance Duke, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Columbus Regional.
The 101-year-old company is no stranger to healthcare design; hospital and medical service projects comprise about half of Kahler Slater’s business, said Jennifer Schlimgen, Kahler Slater principal and architect.
Past clients include Aurora Women’s Pavilion, a women’s health center in West Allis, Wis., and Grand Rapids, Minn.’s Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital — whose design recently scored Kahler Slater the top accolade in Modern Healthcare magazine’s 2009 design awards.
Duke said Kahler Slater stood out because of their creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
“They think of themselves as designing an experience, not just the building,” Duke said.
Kahler Slater plans to hold “experience workshops” at the end of the month to engage Columbus Regional physicians and staffers. They will be invited to share their input on ideal patient experiences in a healthcare setting.
“If you’re in a crisis, what’s the best thing that can happen to you?” Schlimgen said. “Anything that can be a positive distraction in a clinical space is a good thing.”
The input will then be used in the facility’s design plan, she said.
Columbus Regional officials announced in May they planned to combine the women’s and children’s services at The Medical Center and Doctors Hospital to establish a more comprehensive center. The more than $30 million project is meant to serve the region’s growing population and will focus on females of all ages and males from birth to 21 years old.
Duke said Kahler Slater will help identify potential facility locations, which has yet to be determined but will involve a major addition or renovation to The Medical Center or Doctors Hospital. Construction will be begin in 2010 and completion is expected in 2011.