Five Decades of Providing Healthcare
Feb 10, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX, February 10, 2010 - Located in northeast Texas in the seat of Titus County is a healthcare institution that has served the community for over fifty years. Titus Regional Medical Center in Mount Pleasant provides high-quality diagnostic and therapeutic medical care in a patient-centered atmosphere. Since 2008, the 164-bed hospital has completed three construction projects to better address the community's needs. FJW Construction was retained as construction manager for these projects.


The medical center required additional hospital space, due to being designated as a level III lead trauma center and due to new onsite helicopter service. The expansion included a 55,000sf two-story vertical addition, with a connector to the existing main building. The expanded Emergency Department has a 12,000-sf emergency room with 21 beds, a dedicated trauma suite for critical care interventions, and an express care area for less serious conditions. The upgraded admissions area allows patient privacy and a speedier admitting process. Expansion also included the administration and cardiac rehabilitation areas, clinical, histology, hematology, and endoscopy GI labs, plus a six-bed post-anesthesia care unit.


Alan McMillin, the medical center's chief operating officer, states, "The hospital project has made us more efficient and effective. We opened up the emergency room when swine flu hit us. For three months after opening, our patients doubled because of the flu. Luckily, our project came in ahead of schedule, and the timing couldn't have been better."


FJW Project Manager Mike Heid remarks on the early project schedule, "We coordinated all trades working together. Multiple subcontractors were used, and we had daily coordination with safety and logistics issues. And we addressed any items that could have caused delays."


Mr. Heid also mentions of saving the client money, "We were adding to the top of the existing building, where the A/C units were located. The A/C had to be functioning in the occupied building, so temporary units needed to be ordered, at a cost of around $500,000. We made structural modifications to build around the old A/C units, so that the temporary units weren't needed anymore, saving the client half a million dollars."


Next, the Patty and Bo Pilgrim Cancer Center opened in 2008 to offer oncology diagnostic and treatment modalities. This freestanding, single-story building with a linear accelerator oncology vault integrates all facilities of an outpatient care center. Drug therapies, radiation treatments, and research protocols are available, with complementary support services. Ewell Byrd, director of the cancer center, remarked that within a few months, the hospital already exceeded three-year expectations in radiation treatment patient volumes.


Adjacent is the three-story Titus Medical Plaza. This 64,000sf freestanding building includes outpatient labs and imaging units, plus breast and diagnostic, rehabilitation, and wellness centers. The Wellness Center addresses the elderly population and features a six-foot wide indoor walking track, two heated pools for aquatic exercise, a group exercise studio, locker rooms, and a conference/educational center.


Mr. McMillin says, "The cancer center provides a service so that people can stay in town for treatment. Titus Medical Plaza, which is an office building as well as a fitness center, coincides with our need to recruit physicians. We now have office space available for the next five to eight years."


Currently, FJW is upgrading the hospital's exterior. This involves stripping the exterior wall, reframing, replastering, and installing new windows. The renovation has to be done in phases, as it shuts down the room under construction.


Mr. McMillin comments on the contractor, "FJW has been very thorough and flexible during the projects they have done for us. They have also been diligent in looking for savings on the projects. Those savings in turn were passed along to us. So, I have been very pleased with their work."


He continues, "It's been a good experience. The onsite supervisors have been real responsive, and that's important. In fact one of the supervisors was recognized with a hospital Spirit Award for working so well with department managers. Trying to do work while a hospital is in operation requires a contractor to understand and appreciate how a hospital operates. For example, if a doctor complains that drilling in a concrete floor is disturbing his ability to hear a patient's heartbeat, and with one phone call the contractor stops work immediately. That's been the working relationship we have had with FJW."


The hospital's CEO Ron Davis states, "Titus Regional Medical Center is continuously evolving to meet the medical needs and challenges of our community."


The firm's coordination with subcontractors and value engineering helped save Titus Regional Medical Center both time and money and is pleased to help this longstanding healthcare institution carry forward.


FJW holds a strong market niche in healthcare, its breadth of projects includes: acute care hospitals, specialized ambulatory surgery centers, diagnostic/oncology services, and medical office buildings.



Five Decades of Providing Healthcare