Planning and Sequencing a Major Healthcare Campus Renovation

Planning a major healthcare construction project is no small task. It’s even more challenging when you have a hospital campus used by more than 5,000 people a day. 

The Abbott Northwestern Hospital Surgical and Critical Care Building is part of Allina Health’s mission to revitalize its 140-year-old campus and expand its care offerings for community members. Understanding the complexity of building a new 10-story building in the middle of campus, they approached Mortenson to help them develop a plan. 

Disruption avoidance was a top priority. The team had to ensure continuity of operations and provide easy, uninterrupted movement throughout campus for patients and staff. Additionally, the hospital needed safe, easy-to-find patient drop-off and pick-up locations—all in the middle of an active construction zone. 

“We were thoughtful about all the potential disruptions that could happen,” says Julie Crawford, healthcare market executive. “We thought about the people who were operating and helping provide care at that facility. Putting ourselves in their shoes and considering how it felt to each staff member and patient who set foot on the hospital campus during the construction project.” 

Mike Labukas, healthcare market executive adds, “The focus really needs to be on maintaining the behavior of the campus, making the day-to-day operations of the hospital campus affected as little as possible.”

It took two years of discussions and meticulous planning to develop a plan that provided the best staff and patient experience possible. Working together, Mortenson’s team helped Allina understand the cost and impact of each option, allowing them to make informed decisions. The result was a phased healthcare construction project involving a temporary skyway to help maintain safe connectivity between critical campus buildings. Additionally, a new patient drop-off area was placed in an area easily accessible from the main road. 

Good partners dive deep into the details of a business and proactively think about every potential scenario. They treat each project as a partnership and prioritize the needs of the customer and the people using their healthcare campus.

Candice Washington, director of operations at Allina Health-Abbott Northwestern Hospital, said “Mortenson has really been able to just sort of jump in and meld themselves to how we run our business here and have been really, really good partners.”