Hoover Neuroscience Health Center to open this winter under Renewal Project

Sept. 7, 2015, 2:00 p.m.

The Hoover Neuroscience Health Center will open this winter as the first building to be finished under the Stanford University Medical Center Renewal Project, organized by the Planning, Designing and Construction Department (PDCD) at Stanford. As a part of the Renewal Project, Stanford Health Care, the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Welch Road utilities and the Hoover Medical Campus will be renovated as well.

The PDCD hopes to limit the amount of travel for patients by centralizing facilities by specialty, and the Hoover Neuroscience Health Center will allow neuroscience patients to finish everything in one place.

“[The Hoover Neuroscience Health Center] is going to be a one-stop destination for neuroscience patients,” said Jennifer Winder, manager of public relations for the Renewal Project. “You’ll have a centralized check-in that will increase convenience and efficiency.”

“Before, you had to go to different buildings, different places across campus to meet with different specialists,” she added.

This goal of centralization reflects the hospitals’ and medical school’s new focus on patient convenience. Tortorich explained that it can be very difficult for patients when they have to deal with their illnesses and also have to navigate receiving treatment. For example, PDCD wants to change the fact that patients who have undergone surgery must be wheeled through a public corridor to get from the operating building to the patient room for recovery.

“These hospitals are designed to have an on-stage and off-stage,” Tortorich said. “Patients in these new buildings can be moved from interventional spaces and treatment spaces with dignity and not in the view of the public.”

Under the Renewal Project, Lucile Packard will be extending its building to accommodate new facilities and technology, and Stanford Health Care will be completely rebuilt. In addition to the new Neuroscience Health Center, the Hoover Pavilion, originally known as Palo Alto Hospital, will also feature a new parking garage.

PDCD works for Stanford Health Care and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. The Department decided to start the Renewal Project in 2007 when Lucile Packard approached them with a request for private rooms for patients. At the same time, Stanford Health Care and the School of Medicine needed to undergo renovation to meet requirements of the California state law Senate Bill 1953, which requires buildings to be seismically retrofitted or replaced.

“Each entity was evaluating its needs separately, and my department, which was formed in 2005, supports both hospitals,” said Mark Tortorich, vice president of PDCD. “We saw that there was a joint need to go to Palo Alto to get the approval necessary to do the projects that we needed to do.”

“We also partnered with the medical school, who obviously is connected to us in every way,” he added. “So the three entities agreed that we should go together with the University… to Palo Alto and say, ‘We have one request of you to build these new facilities.’”

While the renovations cover a large range of needs for the University’s facilities, when presenting to Palo Alto, the PDCD also had to consider what aspects of the renovation benefitted the city.

“We had to get permission to build these new facilities at the heights that are necessary for contemporary medicine and at the scale that is necessary for contemporary medicine,” Tortorich said. “We wanted to make sure that we have beautiful buildings that Palo Alto could embrace and that the University can embrace as welcome additions.”

The timelines for the projects vary: Stanford Health Care is expected to be open to patient care in 2018, and Lucile Packard construction will finish in 2016. Tortorich explained that hospital buildings are often subject to constantly changing requirements or needs, and the PDCD is now having the same meetings they had in 2007 for Stanford Health Care due to new healthcare policies and technology.

“We had to design the spaces to be flexible to accommodate what the future man holds because we don’t know necessarily what the technology is,” said Courtney Lodato, senior manager of public relations for the Renewal Project.

After the opening of hospitals in 2018, the development plan extends as far as 2041, and construction after 2018 will be run by the University instead of the PDCD. The Department also has outpatient building construction to focus on outside the Renewal Project.

“There’s going to be a fair amount of construction and reconstruction over time which is fairly common on an academic medical center,” Tortorich said. “Hospitals and academic medical centers generally have a lot of renovation going because there’s a lot of innovation going on.”


Contact Malini Ramaiyer at malu.ramaiyer ‘at’ gmail.com.

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