Construction for the new Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics (MGH&FC) Mason Clinic has seen great strides since the October 2018 groundbreaking ceremony. With the demolition of the old HR building and relocation of the hospital’s entry drive currently being worked on, the footings and foundations for the MOB are scheduled to begin in late March. The new 60,000-square foot building will be called Mason Clinic and will consolidate most of the MGH&FC outpatient practices into one building, next to Mason General Hospital. The MGH Hoodsport Family Clinic will remain in its current location. The goal for Mason Clinic is to increase access to medical care for the Mason County community and facilitate greater communication between providers.
The initial concept of the Mason Clinic dates back almost five years. The idea for an all-in-one medical building was born out of MGH&FC wanting to provide the utmost patient care, while better serving the mission of the organization. “This plan all started in 2014,” explains Brent Wilcox, project manager for the Mason Clinic employed by OAC Services. “The hospital and board were meeting and talking about the future strategic planning for the hospital and expanding the vision to look beyond. How can we meet the goals of the organization?”
The Mason Clinic is currently scheduled to be completed by January 2020. After clearing the site and forming the foundation, the building itself will start to go up in the middle of April 2019 and the structural steel support will be raised by the end of July 2019. Construction of new parking lots to accommodate increased patient traffic will begin April 2019 and should be completed by July 2019. “So far, construction has been going really well,” says Wilcox. “That’s a credit to the team Mason General has. Skanska USA is the building contractor and they definitely do a great job of looking out for the future. We are well underway with the earth work and the utilities. We’ve had a little delay with the snow, but we’re working through that with a recovery plan so we can get back on track.”
Hospital Open During Construction
During construction, there are provisions being taken to minimize disruptions at the hospital, including minimizing parking lot closures and announcing in advance any disruptive construction. “There’s not a major impact, other than the new entry drive that’s being relocated,” says Wilcox. “Things like parking and how many stalls were being displaced was the first concern of minimizing impact. For the next phase, Skanska actually prepares, on a weekly basis, notices of work for anything upcoming that would be on the right of way on 13th Street or in the hospital parking lot. We had to put in the new water lines and new sewer lines and part of that went through the current parking lot. So, they sent out a notice of work with the dates. The hospital was then able to post it on the internet and broadcast it to the staff. We are working around those disturbances and making them as small and temporary as possible.”
The Mason Clinic is designed to be a more collaborative environment in order to serve the current and future medical needs of Mason County, all in one location. “The hospital was built in 1968 and at that point, we were a small, rural hospital in a relatively small community,” explains Jennifer Capps, chief development and communication officer for MGH&FC. “In the last half century, the district has changed dramatically. Our strategy is centered around our mission to put patients first and our strategic vision of ‘United the Community, Empowered People, and Exceptional Health.’ Centralizing and consolidating all of the clinics, with the exception of the Hoodsport Clinic, is going to increase access, it’s really going to make our care delivery model much more integrative and team-based and we’re going to make a difference in our community, and be able to keep our patients healthy and well.”
The community is rallying around the project and Mason County residents are tracking the progress of clinic construction. “Folks are excited,” says Capps. “The more information we can share, the better. Our community members are curious about what we’re doing, what it’s going to mean for them and what’s happening on a regular basis. There is added excitement because they realize this is something that is very positive for the community, our patients and for the district.”
The design team is working to make the transition into the Mason Clinic as smooth as possible for surrounding practices and patients. Architects, hospital administration and providers are collaborating to ensure efficient forms of communication once the clinic opens. “We engaged with the team at TGB Architects and came up with a plan to engage in some table top exercises,” says Wilcox. “We identify key players from each group, everyone that’s going to be involved with the new building. We start talking about patient and staff flow communication, how one department talks to another. It is about improved quality of care. It helps us identify what those needs might be now that we might not otherwise see. The time it takes to get settled in the new building when we move in is less and less the more we put in on the front end.”
Behind the Mason Clinic project is a bounty of support from MGH&FC management. The Mason Clinic is employing a host of different perspectives to come together to provide the best experience for patients and providers. “We are fortunate to have a strong leadership team and great partnership,” says Capps. “We have great leadership in Eric Moll, our CEO, and our board of hospital commissioners. Between the facility master planning, annual strategic planning sessions, and our care delivery model transformation, all of these things coalesce together to create the future for the organization and for the district. We want to make sure everyone’s involved in the process. This is a team effort and everyone is pulling together to make this medical office building a reality.”
To learn more about the Mason Clinic and construction progress, visit the Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics website.