U.S. News & World Report Names the TMC Orthopaedic Center Among Best in Knee Replacement

Ortho_logoCMYKTucson Medical Center has been recognized as one of the best hospitals for 2015-16 in knee replacement by U.S. News & World Report. The annual U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings, now in their 26th year, recognize hospitals that excel in treating the most challenging patients.

“The TMC Orthopaedic Center and our partners at the Tucson Orthopaedic Institute are proud to announce this important recognition of our world-class orthopaedics program,” said Judy Rich, president and chief executive officer, Tucson Medical Center. “We take pride in our busy joint replacement program, which is staffed by a care team that is best in class. This designation validates that expertise.”

TOI_Spine_Center_sqThe TMC Orthopaedic Center is a word-class facility dedicated to the needs of the orthopaedic patient and designed with the full continuum of care in mind. The four-story Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower includes 10 state-of-the-art orthopaedic operating rooms that can accommodate both inpatient and outpatient surgeries, and a dedicated 40-bed orthopaedic unit with all private rooms.

“Tucson Orthopaedic Institute collaborates with TMC on clinical and quality initiatives. That commitment has resulted in measurably better care and outcomes for our patients; and they are able to experience an improved quality of life from the orthopaedic care received here,” said Lawrence Housman, M.D., president, Tucson Othopaedic Institute.

high-performing-indicator-kneeFor 2015-16, U.S. News evaluated hospitals in 16 adult specialties and ranked the top 50 in most of the specialties. Less than 3 percent of the nearly 5,000 hospitals that were analyzed for Best Hospitals 2015-16 were nationally ranked in even one specialty.

“A Best Hospital has demonstrated expertise in treating the most challenging patients,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis at U.S. News. “A hospital that emerged from our analysis as one of the best has much to be proud of.”

In rankings by state and metro area, U.S. News recognized hospitals that perform nearly at the level of their nationally ranked peers in one or more specialties, as well as hospitals that excel in multiple common procedures and conditions.

U.S. News publishes Best Hospitals to help guide patients who need a high level of care because they face a particularly difficult surgery, a challenging condition or extra risk because of age or multiple health problems. Objective measures such as patient survival and safety data, adequacy of nurse staffing and other data largely determined the rankings in most specialties.

The specialty rankings and data were produced for U.S. News by RTI International, a leading research organization based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. U.S. News used the same data, as well as the new Best Hospitals for Common Care ratings, first published in May, to produce the state and metro rankings.

The rankings are freely available at http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals and will appear in the U.S. News “Best Hospitals 2016” guidebook, available in August from the U.S. News Store.

Thanks and a tip of the hat to Tucson’s Lioness Club

6-year-old Lynnea Foy shows off her new, colorful surgical hat

6-year-old Lynnea Foy shows off her new, colorful surgical hat

A supersized thank you to the Lioness Club for the time, effort and money they spent on making our school-age patients colorful surgical hats!  The ladies brought more than two-dozen handmade hats to TMC for Children, and proudly handed them over to TMC Child Life Specialist Amy Rothenberg, who works in ambulatory surgery and the PICU.

“When the ladies came to TMC to deliver the hats, they told us each hat is a work of love, and they do it because it helps make the children happy,” said Rothenberg.  “These hats add to the child-friendly environment at TMC.  Children usually put on blue disposable hats before going into surgery so that their hair is out of their face in a sterile operating room.  The children light up when they learn about the colorful ones, and since they can pick which design they want, it gives them a little control in what can be a frightening situation.”

Inside TMC’s new Orthopaedic and Surgical tower, pediatric patients have a colorful waiting room, child-friendly private pre-op rooms, and even their own post-anesthesia care unit.

TMC Child Life Specialist Amy Rothenberg accepts handmade surgical hats and cloth dolls from members of the Lioness Club

TMC Child Life Specialist Amy Rothenberg accepts handmade surgical hats and cloth dolls from members of the Lioness Club

The Lioness Club also donates cloth dolls which are used by Child Life Specialists to help explain medical procedures to young children.

From all of us here at TMC, thank you for your help in creating a welcoming enviornment for little ones from throughout Southern Arizona!

Making history: The first patient in TMC’s new Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower

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Sharon Seekins
One of the first patients in
TMC’s Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower

When 70-year-old Sharon Seekins scheduled her total knee replacement, having it done in TMC’s new Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower was part of the plan.  However, she never knew she had scheduled it for the first day the tower was open.  “I was a bit surprised to learn that I’d be one of the first patients being operated on,” she said.  “But I was excited.”

Seekins’ surgery started bright and early Monday morning, May 6.  After spending some time in recovery, she was transported to Orthopaedic Post-Surgical Care, where she received a warm welcome from staff, and settled into her private room – the first patient to FirstDayImpressionsVideo.Still001arrive on the fourth floor.  “At least I can say I was a celebrity for five minutes,” she laughed.

For Seekins, the surgery was a long time coming.  She battled knee pain for years, and even underwent a total knee replacement on her other leg a few years ago.  “When my son, Donnie, asked me to dance at an event last month, I couldn’t.  That’s when I decided – that’s it.  It’s time to get it done so that I can be more active and do the things I want to do again,” she said.

Dr. Jay Katz TMC Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr. Jay Katz
TMC Orthopaedic Surgeon

TMC Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Jay Katz performed Seekins’ surgery, one of the first surgeries in the new tower.  “It was spectacular.  The operating rooms are gorgeous.  The technology is incredible,” he said.  “The amount of work everyone did to make sure that every little detail worked perfectly for our opening day was amazing.  It’s so exciting to be here and I think it’s a real step forward for patients.”

Seekins was greeted with red roses and a new bathrobe in her room, and said being able to recover in a private room made her feel more comfortable.  “Just being able to watch what I want on television, or turn on the light without bothering anyone – is huge,” she said. 

The view outside Seekins' window

The view outside Seekins’ window

She described the remarkable view outside her window as “the next best thing to being outside,” which would really help during the healing process.  “It was so neat watching a helicopter fly in.  Everyone tells me the streets of Tucson are straight.  To be able to look out there and see that yes, the streets really are straight – I was a bit surprised,” she said. 

Both physician and patient felt honored to be a part of the first day—Seekins to be one of the first patients to be cared for in the tower, and Dr. Katz to go down in TMC history as one of the first surgeons to operate in it.  “To be here since the inception and watch this building go up that we’ve been planning for five years – and then to finally be able to work in it is truly a blessing.”

VIDEO: TMC’s Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower – Opening Day – May 6, 2013

Patient, physician, and administration reaction to opening day of TMC’s Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower.

VIDEO: A patient and visitor guide to TMC’s Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower

This 4 1/2-minute video will help you navigate through the new TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical tower, which is now open.  It includes information about parking, food options, and the registration process, which starts at new patient check-in stations.  It also informs you about separate waiting areas, pre-operative and recovery areas for our adult and pediatric patients.  The final part of the video highlights acute therapies, and the features of the 40 private patient rooms on the fourth floor which are designed for orthopaedic post-surgical care.

KOLD News 13 covers TMC’s new Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower

KOLD News 13 covered the Report to Our Community event that was held in the lobby of TMC’s new Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower, which will open May 6.  Reporter J.D. Wallace gave viewers a first look at the operating and recovery rooms, and explained how state-of-the-art technology will improve a patient’s comfort and safety.
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TMC Chaplain blesses new tower

On Friday, May 3, Chaplain Mary Klaehn moved through the new TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower with a small group of TMC staff, blessing each floor. The blessing is designed to celebrate the hard work that goes into completing such a massive project, and to herald prosperity for the patients, families and staff who will work and pass through it when it opens. The tower blessing was an interfaith event, represented by sage (traditional to Native Americans), as well as a singing bowl and holy water.
“This is a tradition to prepare and cleanse a new space,” explained Klaehn, who has worked as a Chaplain at TMC since 2001. “We also pray in order to lift up the folks that will be working in this building, and for those who will receive care here to have healing and peace.”
When TMC closed the education building that used to sit on the site of the new tower, Klaehn was asked to perform a closing blessing. The former building, which once housed the nurse dormitories, was a space full of memories. The closing ceremony represented an opportunity to give prayers of gratefulness to all of the people who served there throughout the years.

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BLESSING OF THE TOWER

First Floor-
Spirit of the East, of the air, cleanse and inspire this space.
Spirit of the South, of water, strengthen and bring peace to this place.
Spirit of the West, of fire, energize and protect this place.
Spirit of the North, of earth, ground and cleanse this space.
Great Father Sky, guard this place from above.
Great Mother Earth, nurture this place from below.

Second Floor-
Creator God, who knits each person together in their mother’s womb;
it is you who reveals knowledge to practitioners of medicine.
We thank you for the heritage of medical breakthrough, expertise, and welfare that we enjoy in our nation, freely available to us because of your revelation and the faithfulness of previous generations. Renew thanksgiving in our hearts for what we have received because of others’ work and sacrifice.

Third Floor-
Great Healer, you provide insight to all who seek you and you defend those in need.
We thank you for the gift of health services—even as we strive to make it available to everyone no matter where they are on their life’s journey. Give your wisdom to our government, health professionals, and advisers as they seek the reforms which we pray will bring the blessings of justice and health to all.

Fourth Floor-
Loving God, giver of every good thing,
bless our hospital to thrive, to serve, and to heal.
Bless our doctors, nurses, aides, technicians, therapists, chaplains, as they care, excel, and bring healing of body, mind, and spirit.
Bless those who tend to the tasks of providing food, of keeping the hospital clean, and those who tend to the upkeep of the buildings themselves.
Bless our volunteers who help out in so many and diverse ways.
Bless our administrators who vision, dream, and plan.
Bless the workers of every type who have brought this particular dream to fruition.
And, finally, we ask . . .
Make this hospital a place of blessing and a center of love made visible.

May it be so, in Your Holy Name. Amen.

Report to Our Community event highlights TMC’s new Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower

report5Tucson Medical Center hosted this year’s Report to Our Community event, which provides an overview of the annual report to community leaders, public officials and the media, detailing the many community benefit programs TMC has spearheaded in the prior year.

This year’s event was special, as it was held in the lobby of the soon to be open, Tucson Medical Center Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower.

It was only appropriate to host the release of the Report to Our Community in the tower, as the tower is part of a strategic investment in the future of TMC and its ability to continue providing quality health care to the community.

Community tours of the four story building kicked off the event providing a first look at the new medical offices, clinics, private patient rooms and state-of-the-art surgical suites.

The tower is on schedule to open May 6 and will be the only orthopaedic and surgical facility of its kind in Southern Arizona.

“This building really speaks for itself, demonstrating the solid foundation and stability of Tucson Medical Center,” said TMC Board of Trustee Chairwoman, Louise Francesconi.

Francesconi joined TMC President and CEO Judy Rich during the Report to Our Community to discuss how TMC has strategically positioned itself to service the health care needs of the community for years to come.

“Charity care is part of what we do as a community hospital. We take care of everyone who comes to us for care,” said Rich.

In 2012, TMC recorded $48 million of community benefit costs, of which a large portion is charity care. On a net operating revenue of $448 million, TMC’s community benefit was 10.8%, well over the 5% average expected to maintain non-profit status.

And the majority of this uncompensated care, which refers to charity care and bad debt, is a result of the thousands of people who were dropped from AHCCCS in 2011.

“Medicaid restoration, for us is critical. So we’re going to be watching closely to see what happens with that,” explained Rich.

TMC’s stable leadership has been able to withstand the challenges of current legislation changes and tough economic environment, while establishing a framework to ensure the vitality of the hospital.

Over the last 5 years, TMC has invested $200 million dollars building the Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower, renovating hospital units, and adopting Electronic Medical Records (EMR) as standard practice, to name a few.

“We know that our roots grow very deep into this community and every decision we make is made on behalf of being here in the future. We’re very well positioned with the technology we need, resources we need, and the facilities we need,” said Rich.

Francesconi added that the investment TMC is making extends across a broad spectrum that begins and continues through TMC’s employees and the health benefits that are necessary for the hospital to provide to the community.

Becoming an Accountable Care Organization and establishing Arizona Connected Care is one of the major ways in which TMC can improve care management, developing special measures to discharge patients with all of the information they need keeping hospital readmission rates low.

“It’s extremely important to us, as a hospital, that we keep people out of here and at home and healthy,” said Rich.

TMC has also taken notice and became involved in the Canyon Ranch Institute’s Life Enrichment Program. This program was originally developed to help people who don’t have the financial resources to go the Canyon Ranch Institute and be immersed in a curriculum promoting healthy lifestyle choices.

“We’ve training 11 of our own TMC staff to become mentors and coaches in this program, and selected our first group of patients in the community – patients who would not have otherwise had the opportunity to experience such a program,” said Rich.

She went on to share an expression she’s coined, ‘nothing to me without me.’

“This means that we are here to serve people who have something to say about how we do that. We recognize that as a patient you have something to say about how we take care of you, what your needs are, and what the most important thing to you is. Our patients have a lot to add in how we provide care.”

The Patient Family Advisory Council is in place to support the very thing that Judy’s phrase addresses. This committee gathers information from families of patients and TMC professionals, and provides solutions so that the hospital cares for patients in a different more focused way.

The event wound down with a few questions from attendees and announcements that select tours of the orthopeadic tower and surgical tower would be offered immediately after the talk.

Francesconi and Rich offered a few closing remarks.

“The leadership and Board are confident in the partnerships and programs that TMC is engaging in, and that they truly are in the best interest of our patients and the people in our community,” said Rich.

Moots Titanium bike parts giveaway winners announced

OldPuebloIn coordination with the Epic Rides 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo race, TMC and Moots, more than 1000 people took a virtual tour of the soon to be open world-class Tucson Medical Center Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower and registered to win over $4000 in Moots bike parts.

On March 1, Epic Rides and Tucson Medical Center announced the winner of the Moots giveaway.

The winners are:

Justin Hiehle of Tucson, AZ (Moots Cinch Post)

Libby Schultz of Cedar Falls, IA (Moots Open Trail Stem)

Stuart May of Prescott, AZ (Moots X YBB Frame)

Tucson Medical Center congratulates the winners and is excited about the opening of the new orthopaedic and surgical center to service the community of southern Arizona.

Click here to see the Moots bike parts that were given away.

Click here to take a virtual tour of the Tucson Medical Center Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower.

Nutrition tips to get you ‘race ready’

imagesThe Epic Rides 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo Race is under a week away. TMC is the proud feature sponsor of the race and also has quite a few employees and brave cyclists participating in this exciting affair.

So the question is, are you ‘race ready’?

There are a number of things that can happen during an endurance activity such as a 24 hour race. Whether it is an environmental challenge, the mistake of a fellow participant or teammate, or an equipment malfunction, let’s face it, accidents happen.

However, there are things we can control like our physical and mental health when preparing for rigorous activity. In addition to one’s training regimen, making the appropriate nutritional choices leading up to recreational or competitive activity is one important way to be sharp and ready to take on unexpected challenges.

“Putting the right foods in your body is one of the many important nutritional choices you can make before a high performance activity,” says Mary Atkinson, Director of Wellness at Tucson Medical Center.

“The energy needs of people that participate in endurance activities are high. Every person’s nutritional needs will vary dependent upon age, gender, and daily activity. One should be sure they consume a sufficient amount of calories, and that these calories come from a variety of healthy sources.”

The following are tips to consider to get you ‘race ready’:

Carbohydrate Needs – Carbohydrates, the primary fuel during exercise, are easily digested and quickly used by the body. It is recommended to ingest 3 – 4 gram per pound of body weight daily for persons participating in heavy and high intensity endurance activities.

Fat – Moderate consumption from healthy fat sources such as fish, avocados, and nuts are a vital source of energy for lengthy exercise and sports training. However, avoid the intake of saturated and trans fats.

Protein – Protein is extremely important in the building and repair of muscles. Although it is not a primary source of energy during endurance exercise, it is recommended that athletes take .5 – 1 gram per pound of body weight daily for persons participating in heavy and high intensity endurance activities.

Atkinson suggests, “Maintain a balanced diet during the days before a race or competition, and make sure you’ve consumed adequate amounts of fluids, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein. This should ensure that your nutritional needs will be met for optimum performance on race day.”

The Epic Rides 14th annual 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo race is one of the largest 24-hour mountain bike events in the world. TMC partnered with Moots, the Official Bike Sponsor, to give away over $4000 in Moots titanium bike parts, raising awareness of the new Tucson Medical Center Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower scheduled to open in April.

To register for the giveaway and get more information about the Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower, click here. 

Up We Go: Creating a new pathway to TMC Emergency

A new entry boulevard is partially complete, and is already carrying traffic into the Tucson Medical Center campus at the intersection of Grant Road and Beverly Avenue. Two-way traffic has been restored as vehicles use newly installed pavement at Grant and Beverly.

Now, work begins on rebuilding the remaining old roadway and parking spaces.  The area directly in front of the main TMC Emergency entrance is temporarily torn up, so all foot traffic for the west end of the hospital is using the side entrance just past the main Emergency door.

Emergency Department access will always be maintained via the side door just north of the temporarily closed main Emergency doors.

New parking spaces for patients and visitors are now available in the improved parking lot in front of Emergency, and access has been improved to the new 600-space parking garage just to the west.  Right in front of the temporary Emergency entrance, visitors can pull into a patient drop-off area, or use the FREE valet service, available seven days a week.

These final phases of road work will create a direct path for patients and visitors who will use the new TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower, opening next spring with patient rooms, orthopaedic clinics, and advanced high-tech operating rooms.

Up We Go: Restoring the Erickson Building’s Stateliness

A few steps away from the construction zone for the new TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower is a charming two-story stucco and brick house.  Temporarily hidden behind a shroud of plastic sheets and scaffolding, the Erickson Building is filled with carved woodwork, balconies and history.

The Erickson Building, designed by architect Henry Jaastad, was built in the 1920s as a residence for a wealthy New York couple, Anna Edith Erickson and Alfred William Erickson. On this site, the Ericksons helped create the Desert Sanatorium, a tuberculosis treatment facility that eventually was donated to the community in the 1940s to become Tucson Medical Center.

Now, decades later, TMC has embarked upon extensive renovation projects for the Erickson Building and several other historic properties on the campus.  Significant tasks are now under way at the Erickson site, focused on stabilization and repair of the exterior of the building.  This phase of work, scheduled to finish by the end of the year, includes:

  • removal and replacement of stucco
  • removal of non-essential or period-incorrect appurtenances
  • structural repairs to walls and roof
  • revamp of existing grading to prevent water damage

One affirmative observer is Donald Shropshire, TMC president emeritus who lived in the Erickson home during part of his quarter-century tenure as TMC administrator.

“This building represents a major philanthropic act by Mrs. Erickson,” Shropshire said. “Because of her generosity, it stands as a very important building within the TMC campus.   I couldn’t live in it without feeling the presence of Mrs. Erickson.

“It’s more than a home.  It is a symbol of true community spirit and a substantial gift that has truly paid dividends for Tucson.” 

Up We Go: Make a Virtual Visit to the New TMC Tower

You don’t have to have knee surgery to see what the new patient rooms will look like in the TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower. And you don’t have to be a surgeon to explore the workings of the new high-tech operating rooms now under construction.

With just a quick click of the mouse, anyone can ‘tour’ the four-story building, which will be the first hospital center dedicated to orthopaedics in Southern Arizona.

Among the highlights of the new “Up We Go” virtual tour:
• Expansive operating rooms with ceiling mounted screens and equipment for 3-D imaging
• Inpatient rooms designed to accommodate patients, caregivers and family members without crowding
• Dedicated pediatric areas that are child-friendly and child-sized, with staff specially trained in pediatric procedures
• Environmentally sensitive features that help TMC conserve resources while providing 21st century care

“While this project is under construction, it would require hardhats and safety equipment to enter the facility, but thanks to our online capabilities, we can welcome the public to our new virtual tour right now,” said Julia Strange, vice president, Community Benefit.

“We are excited to share the news about all the new services this facility will allow us to provide to the people of Southern Arizona.”

Click on the Interactive Tour by taking the ‘Campus Redevelopment’ link at the TMC website, www.tmcaz.com.

 

Up We Go: Retention Basin is Temporary Home to Desert Plants

Barely noticeable in the shadow of the rapidly developing TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower is a half-acre depression, lined with native vegetation.

Saguaros, ocotillo, desert willow, fairy dusters and mesquites are safely ensconced at the basin until their new homes are ready when nearby construction on the west campus is done.

The indentation in the earth will capture storm runoff from Tucson’s seasonal rains for two primary purposes:

  • To protect the banks of nearby washes from erosion by slowing the force of the water and giving it a chance to percolate into the soil;
  • To nourish the plants growing alongside the basin while they wait to be transplanted to their ultimate homes on the campus.

The temporary plant nursery is part of TMC’s compliance with the City of Tucson’s NPPO – the Native Plant Preservation Ordinance, which requires salvaging and transplanting for some desert foliage during major construction projects.

The retention basin is located on a small plot just west of the historic Erickson Building, between two parking garages that serve the west campus.  It will capture runoff from the entire west campus, including the roof of the new four-story Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower, which will open next spring.

“This small patch of land was not serving any purpose until now,” said Richard Prevallet, vice president, Facilities and Construction. “But with smart design, we are able to not only recharge groundwater, but protect our washes and capture our rainwater to serve our plant nursery.

“Living in a desert, we should all care about our water resources. This is another opportunity to expand our environmental activities as part of the redevelopment of our west campus.”

Up We Go: Construction Milestones Keep Climbing

Many tons of mechanical equipment will be needed to support clinical activities in the TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower, opening next spring.  Massive air handlers and electrical infrastructure will sustain the state-of-the-art facility.

And now, the major heavy machinery is all in place, above the top floor of the four-story structure. A huge crane recently hoisted the final payloads, including a 13,000-pound chiller that will enhance the critically important cooling system for the tower.

Also on the way up is the stonework on the building’s exterior. Natural stone will be a notable part of the new building’s appearance, and masonry craftsmen are creating the stone features of the edifice.

To make sure that everything would go smoothly, sample stonework was first installed on a small mock-up structure next to the main building.  The trial area allowed workers to test the stonework, windows and other surfaces to confirm their weather-proofing and esthetic characteristics.

All the elements will come together in the spring when the building opens with clinic space for Tucson Orthopaedic Institute, private rooms for TMC orthopaedic patients, and 24 high-tech operating rooms for TMC’s surgical procedures.

Up We Go: New Operating Rooms to Provide State-of-the-Art Technologies

There was a time when surgeons had to open the chest to treat a potentially fatal blood clot that lodged itself in the lungs.

No longer.  In a minimally-invasive procedure, surgeons now can run a catheter through the groin and apply clot-busting drugs.

In fact, there are a multitude of new, less-invasive high-tech remedies that rely on robotics and high-definition imaging to save patients lives.

“Technological advances are amazing and the new TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower is going to allow us to do even more of that than we do today,” said Dr. Matthew Atlas, an anesthesiologist who practices at TMC.

The second floor of the tower, set to open in spring 2013, will include 14 state-of-the-art operating rooms, while the third floor will include 10 state-of-the-art orthopaedic operating rooms.

The operating rooms will be wired to allow doctors to pull up information from a patient’s chart or history instantly, while new capabilities will allow surgeons to view 3D images, creating a virtual map of a patient’s heart, for example.

The technology also allows for teleconferencing, allowing physicians to consult virtually with other clinicians or to demonstrate a technique for medical students.

Although TMC currently has one operating room with hybrid equipment that allows for a variety of specialized procedures, the new tower will have two, allowing for expanded opportunities for doctors to use the room for the latest treatments.

“Current graduates are all trained in these latest types of procedures and they want to come to a place that understands the need to keep up with advances as they become available,” Atlas said, adding the new tower will help with recruitment and retention.

Aside from the focus on technology, the new design also allows for greater efficiency and mobility.

At an average size of more than 620 square feet, the new operating rooms will be much larger than the existing rooms at TMC, allowing for greater freedom of movement for staff. Cables will be wired through the ceiling, avoiding clutter on the floor.

A new barcoding system will ensure all of the equipment necessary for a procedure is at the ready, but if a new item is needed, surgery team members won’t have to wait to retrieve sterilized equipment. Just outside the door of each of the operating rooms, in what’s known as the sterile core, a full range of equipment and supplies are at the ready.

This new facility is being designed with flexibility for the future, Atlas said. “If you don’t stay up with technology and participate in it, you won’t be ready for what follows. And to fulfill our mission as a community hospital, we are committed to delivering the best care to our patients.”

Parking Garage on West Campus Takes Shape

Construction on TMC’s west campus is going vertical, as work crews and cranes erect a multi-level parking deck. When finished, the garage will provide more than 600 spaces for TMC visitors, patients and physicians.

Next to the garage, ground has been cleared for the new four-story pavilion that will add upgraded clinic, surgery and patient care areas. The facility will support a partnership between TMC and Tucson Orthopaedic Institute to create a world-class orthopedic specialty center, to be managed cooperatively by TMC and TOI.

Steel for the hospital tower will start to rise in mid-December.

During the project, remember that visitors and patients headed for Outpatient Services will use the Emergency Department entrance and follow the corridor north to the reception desk. The hospital will always maintain direct access to Emergency and outpatient services during the project. Traffic signage will help patients reach drop-off and parking areas near the West Entrance.

Construction underway on TMC’s west campus

With site preparation under way for TMC’s new West Pavilion hospital wing, vehicles and pedestrians still have access to the Emergency Department and the West Entrance.  A temporary loop is designated for patient drop-off near the Emergency entrance, serving those headed for Emergency or other Outpatient Services.  Watch for signs to direct traffic – and free valet parking is available every day right at the drop-off point.

Meanwhile, work is under way for utility upgrades and widening of the loop road along the north edge of campus, from the Northeast Entrance to the Beverly intersection, and beyond.

The current projects at the west end of the hospital, with an estimated investment of $100 million, will add upgraded surgery and patient care areas in a four-story pavilion, and a patient/visitor parking deck. The facility will support a partnership between TMC and Tucson Orthopaedic Institute to create a world-class orthopedic specialty center, to be managed cooperatively by TMC and TOI.

To open in the first half of 2012:

  • More than 600 spaces in Parking Garage

Planned for occupancy in mid 2013:

  • 26 operating rooms, plus future option for two more rooms to be completed later
  • 40 private patient rooms, designated for post-surgical care
  • Lobby, support services and physician offices on ground floor
  • Total size of building, more than 200,000 square feet

TMC also will widen the hospital loop road on the west and north sides of the campus, upgrade the campus entryway at Beverly Avenue, and construct a Founder’s Park to honor important figures in TMC’s history.


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