Clovis Community Medical Center, Clovis, Calif.
The city of Clovis lies in California’s central valley, in an area that’s booming, in part, because it’s among the state’s most affordable places to live. In response to that boom, the Clovis Community Medical Center needed to expand—a lot. And quickly.
In fact, says Kirk Rose, healthcare practice leader for HMC Architects (Los Angeles), “Community growth, and the resulting hospital services demand, happened more than three times faster than executives anticipated.”
To help address these changing needs, Clovis hired HMC in 2016 to double the size of the hospital, which had already been expanded significantly in 2013.
“The paint on the previous five-story tower was only dry for three years when they asked us to do another one,” Rose says.
The newest expansion, completed in summer 2022, comprised that new 148-bed tower along with a sizable surgery/emergency addition; food service, maintenance, and materials management department expansions; outdoor space design; a new double-height main entrance and lobby; and more.
Emergency and surgery expansion
One of the key goals of the project was to increase the medical center’s capacity for surgery and emergency services. A two-story addition accomplishes this with six operating rooms on the second floor and a completely new trauma bay emergency department expansion on the first.
“Because of all that additional capacity, we doubled the emergency lobby on the other side of that building with a one-story addition,” Rose says. The addition of all these functions also required the team to double the kitchen, dining, and materials management departments.
The functional improvements introduced with the new emergency department are significant, beginning with the drop-off. For one thing, George Vangelatos, HMC’s director of healthcare design, says, “We created a better place for the ambulances to stack and be able to offload without impacting the public.”
For patients, there’s new outdoor space in the shade for waiting, and the team made efforts to improve every other space that touched the patient experience.
“For the check-in areas and waiting areas, we added daylighting to all those spaces,” Vangelatos explains. “That whole front end was one of the key aspects of the design addition. It wasn’t just adding space. It was also trying to make everything work more seamlessly and efficiently.”
The project team looked at Clovis’ Emergency Severity Index (ESI) to address operations and learned that “a lot of patients were coming in with very minor ailments, but they were getting clogged up waiting [in the ED],” Rose says.
There were a couple of existing triage rooms, but for the expansion, HMC introduced the hospital to the concept of a rapid assessment screening area within the ED to help alleviate congestion. This area—manifested here as a room with six treatment bays—is where patients with more minor complaints (such as simple cuts, minor sprains, etc.) can be treated.
“It takes a lot of the traffic out of the heart of the ED,” Rose says. (For more on rapid assessment units in the ED, read this Healthcare Design article.)
On the other end of the care spectrum, as the suburbs have grown, the hospital was seeing more trauma cases and patients presenting with psychiatric issues. The ED had three existing pods for general treatment: “We retrofitted one of the pods to provide some psych restraints and antiligature features,” Rose says.
“And in the trauma bays we designed a couple that were fairly high acuity. They weren’t licensed as a Level 1 or Level 2 Trauma Center, but they provide the same patient remedies and more equipment in case [a trauma patient] can’t make it all the way to downtown.”
About a year and half into the project, the hospital was able to add $55 million to the project budget, which allowed the design team to (among other things) add a catheterization expansion and create a more prominent main lobby with an inviting, daylit aesthetic.
“They had a small area with a two-story volume right near where we were building the new lobby, and we expanded that,” Vangelatos says.
The new space features an overhead 35-by-15-foot custom lighting sculpture, which was created by HMC and Yellow Goat Design (Cambridge, Ontario, Canada). The design, inspired by the central valley’s natural landscapes and colors represented in nearby orchards, incorporates 679 one-inch-wide resin stems with integrated pin lights.
Two smaller, similarly designed fixtures in the patient waiting area extend the lighting motif throughout the lobby.
The aesthetics of the new lobby, combined with a strong and thoughtful landscape design created in partnership with Broussard Associates (Clovis, Calif.) and a locally legendary foodservice program—the hospital cafeteria, the Grove Café, has four and a half stars on Yelp—are important investments in the experience, Rose says.
“They want the campus to be something people select to go to,” he says. “A high-caliber, beautiful place where you can go for healing, but also solace in the landscape gardens and good food.”
Kristin D. Zeit is a freelance writer and editor and a contributing editor for Healthcare Design. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project details for Clovis Community Medical Center Phase C Expansion
Project location: Clovis, Calif.
Project completion date: August 2022
Owner: Community Medical Centers
Total building area: 390,000 sq. ft.
Total construction cost: $300 million
Cost/sq. ft.: $770
Architecture: HMC Architects
Interior design: HMC Architects
General contractor: Clark Construction
Engineering: Saiful Bouquet, New England Sheet Metal, Howe Electric
Builder: Clark Construction
Art consultant: HMC Architects
Art/pictures: Moran Brown
Lighting Sculpture: Yellow Goat Design, 3Form
Carpet/flooring: Shaw Contract, Mannington Commercial, American Olean
Ceiling/wall systems: Emerzian Woodworking (wood wall)
Fabric/textiles: Maharam, Pallas
Handrails/wall guards: Acrovyn C/S
Surfaces—solid/other: Cambria, Corian, Icestone, Walker Zanger, Hi-Macs, Wilsonart, Forms+Surfaces,
Wallcoverings: Koroseal, Wolf Gordon, Designtex, Carnegie, Arc-Com
Project details are provided by the design team and are not vetted by Healthcare Design.