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DHMC Honored for Enduring Quality of Design Innovation

DHMC Honored for Enduring Quality of Design Innovation

We still have patients and families walk in for the first time who say that it doesn’t feel at all like they’re coming into a medical center, and that’s the effect we wanted.” - Susan Reeves EdD, RN.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center honored for enduring quality of design innovation

Since its opening in 1991, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon has been cited as a model of health care planning and design in numerous articles and publications. In 1994 it received the Healthcare Facility Design Award from the Boston Society of Architects. Now

The American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA) has named Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center one of two recipients of ACHA’s inaugural Legacy Project Awards. The awards were presented in Orlando, Florida, on March 18, at the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE) Planning, Design and Construction Summit.

Shepley Bulfinch architects of Boston completed the original 1.2 million square foot medical center to provide a physically integrated campus of clinical, academic, and research facilities that would be flexible and adaptable over time.

Since it opened, the campus has more than doubled in size in a succession of projects, most by Shepley Bulfinch, adding research, clinical and administrative space. Its success stands as testimony to the clear organizing concepts of its original design.

“This is a place where great health care happens, but in a place that’s really warm and inviting, personal and caring,” said Susan Reeves EdD, RN, who was the patient move coordinator for DHMC when the hospital moved in 1991, and who now serves as a vice president at D-H. “That has been true from the day we opened until today. We still have patients and families walk in for the first time who say that it doesn’t feel at all like they’re coming into a medical center, and that’s the effect we wanted.”

“In the past decade our inpatient admissions have grown by roughly 30 percent, our OR cases roughly 60 percent … one in every four inpatient surgeries in the state of New Hampshire is performed here,” notes Daniel P. Jantzen, chief operating officer. “And so when I think of the original vision for this facility – an academic medical center serving a rural area – it’s really stood the test of time, and done exactly that.”

See a video that includes Reeves and Jantzen, as well as other principals involved in the design of DHMC, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyz66lu8QgY.

The ACHA Legacy Project Award is the first award of its kind, celebrating design innovation that endures throughout the life of a health care project.

“A legacy is a gift that is passed down from one generation to another. A health care building that exhibits high quality designs and encourages high performance functioning with minimal upkeep is a legacy to those who inherit the building,” commented ACHA president Connie S. McFarland, FAIA, FACHA.

“Seeing Dartmouth-Hitchcock not only stand the test of time, but to thrive as it has doubled in size is a real tribute to the strength of the long-term vision set out in the original plan,” said Jennifer Aliber AIA, ACHA, health care principal at Shepley Bulfinch.


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