Up We Go: A New Mode of Vertical Transport at TMC

The doors have whooshed open for a new era at Tucson Medical Center: limited service is now available in the hospital’s first bank of elevators.

So far, it’s just one elevator being used only for construction workers and equipment, but it’s a huge milestone for TMC, alleged for decades to be the nation’s largest one-story hospital. Crews are building the new TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower, which soars tens of feet into the air – a four-story ‘high-rise’ in a low-profile campus.

The first elevator has been carefully adjusted and balanced – a painstaking process involving precise weight distribution to make certain the elevator entrance is perfectly even with each floor, and not a half-inch step up or down.

When the tower opens in the spring, six elevators will ensure efficient transport for patients, support staff and visitors.

  • Two elevators will be dedicated to the public, ensuring convenient access for incoming patients and visitors to surgery suites on the second and third floors, and patient care rooms on the fourth floor.
  • Two additional elevators will be used exclusively for patients undergoing surgical procedures or being discharged.  A medical emergency feature will ensure that patients needing immediate help will not have to wait.  With a push of a button, staff can instantly summon an elevator to any floor.
  • Finally, two service elevators will be available for support staff to transport supplies and equipment throughout the tower.  One of those service elevators is the only unit now in operation, supporting construction activities.

The building also includes a staircase next to the elevators. In many cases, with TMC promoting more physical activity and healthy options for its employees, staff members will be using the stairs.

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Rd. | Tucson, AZ 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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