Designs on the future: LMH Health maximizes the wellbeing of the Lawrence community

As seen on Lawrence Business Magazine, by Daniel Lacy (2018 Q3 Publication).

It’s easy to think of a hospital as a place that only helps people when they are sick, but it’s a misconception that doesn’t apply to LMH Health.

When LMH realized a need for expanded services on the city’s fast-growing west side, Chief Executive Officer Russ Johnson and Chief Operating Officer Karen Shumate knew they wanted to create something lasting that embodied the hospital’s purpose of being a partner for lifelong health.

As the healthcare market transforms, issues like improving access, adopting new technologies, and promoting wellness are coming to the forefront. These changes mean facilities must enhance and encourage service integration.

The new $100 million LMH Health West Campus will serve as a shining example of how the hospital is adjusting to this changing landscape.

Creating a Community Asset

LMH used a design-build approach for the west Lawrence project, where McCownGordon Construction is leading a team that includes Pulse Design Group of Lenexa and PEC Engineering of Lawrence. This is a true blending of talent, where we’ve forged one team that is pushing that envelope for a project that best serves the community.

With the west Lawrence project, it is the responsibility of the design-build team to ask the right questions, digest the answers, and offer ideas to come up with a medical facility that is not only going to serve LMH and the Lawrence community today, but also for many years down the road. That includes taking into consideration all the advancements in medicine, technology, and practices.

And, because everyone is working from the same script early on, the design-build approach accelerates the timetable by at least six months.

Also with LMH’s partnership, the design and construction team has been able to build in community amenities that benefit the health and wellbeing of everyone, including a therapy garden, event space/rooftop terrace and outdoor walking trails.

The roughly 200,000-square-foot facility, which is expected to open in 2020, will be built near Rock Chalk Park in northwest Lawrence.

Helping the Community and the Economy

As major employers and businesses, hospitals and the healthcare sector as a whole contribute significantly to the economic well-being of a community, as indicated by an analysis published in October 2017 by the Kansas Hospital Association.

According to that report, health services employs 5,110 people, or about 6.9 percent of all job holders in Douglas County. The health services sector also has a ripple effect in terms of additional jobs and spending associated with these organizations.

Because of this ripple effect, in total, the employment impact of the health services sector in Douglas County results in an estimated 7,499 jobs in the local economy. The total income impact of health services results is an estimated $371.3 million for the county economy.

Meanwhile, LMH alone provides millions of dollars of uncompensated care to people who need its services but are unable to pay for them. And, the hospital’s civic involvement includes dozens of partnerships and collaborations with the city, county, university, chamber of commerce, and many other organizations.

Johnson and Shumate also noted that LMH took community need into account when choosing a site for the west Lawrence campus.

“Our development is the first major healthcare component in this section of the community,” they explained. “It will improve access to care while complementing Rock Chalk Park and Sports Pavilion Lawrence.”

The two executives added that, with many Lawrence residents commuting to work outside the city, the site’s location near K-10 and Interstate 70 will make it convenient for commuters to get their outpatient services quickly and efficiently.

Expanding locations for outpatient services, they said, will enable patients to get care where it is most convenience for them, ease parking at the main hospital campus and allow for growth in hospital-based services.

The list of services slated for the west Lawrence campus is extensive, including: an orthopedic center of excellence; an expanded LMH Breast Center; an outpatient surgical center, a full imaging center, and an LMH Therapy practice, which will focus on sports rehabilitation services. There will also be office space for primary and specialty physicians.

As LMH’s strategies make clear, the hospital of tomorrow will be much different than those of the past. The biggest difference, perhaps, will be the focus on keeping people healthy and limiting the serious illnesses that require hospital admission. Outpatient facilities like the new LMH Health West Campus that focus on patient access and convenience will pave the future path.

As Johnson and Shumate said, “We want to create a different kind of feeling for patients, families and other visitors. After all, LMH isn’t our hospital, it’s the community’s hospital; and we want them to feel like it’s a healthy place.”

Learn how our preconstruction team added value to LMH Health.

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