Cleveland, OH,
14
April
2020
|
02:44 PM
America/New_York

Transforming MetroHealth: The Work Goes On

For many of us, life is at a standstill.

COVID-19 seems to have put everything on hold: our favorite sports, dinners out, exercise classes, big-screen movies, vacations and weddings and just about everything else.

But not MetroHealth’s new hospital.

Every day, dozens of construction workers continue to build the new 10-story hospital on MetroHealth’s main campus.

“Construction, and particularly hospital construction, is one of the businesses that's considered essential in Ohio,” says Walter Jones, MetroHealth’s senior vice president of campus transformation. “So we have not stopped.

“We are on schedule and on time and on budget.”

These days, workers are pouring concrete; installing the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems in the central utility plant; and erecting 30-foot sections of steel that form the frame of the 270-room hospital.

That work has made social distancing easy.

“Fortunately, for where we are right now, most of the work is outside and most of the work is moving large steel beams around,” Jones says. “Construction materials have a tendency to be rather large. So you’re only going to get so close.”

Workers who stretch every morning at before starting their shifts are social distancing, too.

KEY DATES

July 2020: The steel frame is finished

April 2021: The exterior is complete

May 2022: Interior work wraps up

Fall 2022: The first patient moves in

“What used to be 150 guys on the ground floor of the CUP (central utility plant) each morning is now five to six different groups of eight, 10, 12 spaced 10- to 12-feet apart in different places around the building,” says Dan Gairing, project superintendent for Turner Construction Company, the firm overseeing MetroHealth’s campus transformation.

“And because it’s in the open air, that also adds some safety factors, as opposed to being in an enclosed environment,” Jones says.

The shipment of materials – some from local vendors, some from as far away as Germany -- hasn’t stalled either.

“Right now, we haven’t seen any major impediments to completing the project,” Jones says. “So the road ahead is about as good as anybody can expect.

“MetroHealth being the public hospital, the anchor institution here on the near West Side, we're very focused on the community impact that a project like this can affect,” he says, “and keeping our eyes on it, making sure that the things that we're doing to maintain the project going forward continue to have the positive impact on the community that this project is intended to have.

“And our best forecast says that we're going to be able to do that.”

About The MetroHealth System

The MetroHealth System, Cuyahoga County’s public health system, is honoring its commitment to create a healthier community by building a new hospital on its main campus in Cleveland. The building and the 25 acres of green space around it are catalyzing the revitalization of MetroHealth’s West Side neighborhood.

MetroHealth broke ground on its new hospital in 2019. The project is being financed with nearly $1 billion the system borrowed on its own credit after dramatically improving its finances. In the past five years, MetroHealth’s operating revenue has increased by 40% and its number of employees by 21%. Today, its staff of 8,000 provides care at MetroHealth’s four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. In the past year, MetroHealth has served 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits in its hospitals and health centers, 75% of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

The health system is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.

As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to teaching and research. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses a Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school of science and health.

For more information, visit metrohealth.org.