Shawmut Design and Construction Accelerates Completion of New Southcoast Health ICU in Response to COVID-19

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BOSTON – Shawmut Design and Construction announced the completion of Southcoast Health’s $14 million, state-of-the-art intensive care unit at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, MA.

As part of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Shawmut accelerated the project by a month to allow for earlier occupancy, enabling the hospital to accommodate the expected surge in ICU patients.

In partnership with Lavallee Brensinger Architects, Shawmut renovated and expanded an existing vacant space on the hospital’s fourth floor to create a modern, leading-edge, 16-bed intensive care unit. The new, 16,000-square-foot space doubles the size of the hospital’s previous ICU, which will eventually be repurposed for medical and surgical patients, allowing for overall increased capacity. Additionally, the renovated ICU will help position St. Luke’s Hospital as a Level II Trauma Center.

“We couldn’t be prouder to support Southcoast Health’s life-saving work by accelerating the completion of this new state-of-the-art ICU,” said Kevin Sullivan, executive vice president at Shawmut. “Our team deployed enhanced safety protocols to ensure the well-being of everyone on site so we could turnover a leading-edge facility ahead of schedule that will provide critical medical care.”

The new ICU adds 16 beds in 440-square-foot rooms to St. Luke’s Hospital’s capacity, creating a more modern, spacious, and accessible space. Southcoast Health nurses, physicians, providers, clinical staff, and support services contributed valuable insights to the overall design and build of the space, optimizing both the patient’s and care team’s overall comfort and experience. By incorporating the latest intensive care and patient room evidence-based design, the unit features private universal rooms with an advanced video system for monitoring and safe patient-nurse communication, as well as increased support space and transitional screening windows for privacy. The layout also allows for multiple levels of patient observation with no adjustments to FTE’s, and minimal-to-no increase in staff travel distances.

“The fact that this investment in our community could be up and running at such a crucial time is a remarkable achievement on the part of our staff and a testament to the trades who stayed on the job to see the project through ahead of schedule,” said Keith Hovan, president and CEO of Southcoast Health. “Amid so much uncertainty right now, these frontline health care heroes and amazing essential workers are a source of confidence who inspire enduring gratitude and hope.”

To promote a calming, healing environment, the new ICU features images of the region created by local artists. Families can meet with physicians in a dedicated conference room and, when staying for long hours, can wind down in a quiet and comfortable lounge area, complete with refreshments, TV, and showers.

The Southcoast Health ICU at St. Luke’s Hospital represents the latest in a series of high-profile projects in Shawmut’s Healthcare and Life Sciences portfolio, including work at Boston Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Columbia University Irving Medical Center.