October 5, 2011

Hall Health ready to show off first renovation in 35 years

The paint is dry, the ladders are gone and the electrical face plates are in place.  The year-long remodel of Hall Health Center is nearly completed, with open houses scheduled this month.

The patient check-in area has plenty of space and light.

Mary Levin

The patient check-in area has plenty of space and light.

The remodel, the first in 35 years, has expanded usable space by about one-third. The patient care areas were modernized and reconfigured, locating clinics that share functions – such as sports medicine and physical therapy — nearby one another. The remodeled spaces have more pleasant waiting areas, more privacy, and an overall more pleasant experience for patients.

New artwork is found on many of the centers walls, much of it from students, reflecting the nature of Hall Healths mission of encouraging physical and mental well-being. The artwork, some of which has come from the staff, also emphasizes the work of the various clinics.

D.C. Dugdale, director of Hall Health and a professor of medicine, is proud that during the entire remodel no clinic function was ever out of service. “We did not have as much down time in clinic areas as we expected,” he said. “Overall, were very happy with how the project came together. We had thought that we might experience a significant revenue drop, but our current figures suggest that this was very small.”

The equipment is colorful in  physical therapy's exercise room.

An open house for the upper campus community will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14; an open house for the health sciences community will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27. Tours will be offered on both days.

Because of budget considerations, not all furnishings have been replaced. Medical equipment remains the same, because it is already on a regular replacement cycle. But because the project came in slightly under budget, 20 exam and treatment rooms that were to have been left as they were are likely to receive new furnishings.

Student groups were involved extensively in the conceptual phase of the remodel of what is after all primarily a student facility. Student fees paid for the bonds that were issued to finance the remodel.

Hall Health receives more than 80,000 patient encounters each year including more than 7,500 interactions between students and consulting nurses, about 5,000 phone calls and e-mails from students, and about 300 same-day-need mental health visits by students.

Dugdale is anticipating some increased interest in Hall Healths capabilities from the broader UW community when the UW Medical Centers family medicine clinic moves to the Northgate area in February.