WellSpan York Hospital MRI Expansion

Client: WellSpan York Hospital
York, PA
Size: 6,500 sf
Dates: Fall 2018–March 2020

Background: Pennsylvania Community Health

WellSpan Health is a regional health system based in south-central Pennsylvania. CMSI started working with WellSpan in York Hospital in 2005. Since then, we have executed over 100 design-build projects in multiple facilities.

Objective: Increase MRI Capacity

Throughout the United States, imaging has become a growing part of healthcare. As a result, healthcare facilities are often backlogged with patients who need imaging services. To help meet the demand, WellSpan York Hospital decided to expand from having one MRI to three MRIs.

Approach: Demolish and Reconstruct

As a design-build firm, CMSI started by providing WellSpan with multiple schematics, showing different design options and budget points. Our in-house team continued to oversee the entire project throughout the design and construction process.

To make space for the addition that would house the two new MRIs, we first had to demolish a 6,000-square-foot section of the existing building. This older section of the building was where volunteer services and some other departments were located. So, before demolition, we relocated these departments into another space that we renovated for them, which used to be a food service space.

The demolition took place near the hospital’s main entrance, which presented challenging logistics. So, we created a solution to safely redirect traffic from the drop-off circle into the parking garage. Additionally, the hospital’s blood bank was affected by the demolition because it was on the other side of the original structure’s wall. Since York Hospital is a trauma hospital, they must have a large supply of blood available at any given time. The blood is stored in refrigerators and freezers, and we had to temporarily relocate those units to preserve the supply. During the winter, we had to install a heated tunnel to keep the blood bank and its laboratory temperature controlled.

After demolition, we built a 6,500-square-foot, one-story structure, taking over the space from the previous structure and some of its surrounding outdoors space. We built the addition with a steel structure instead of a concrete structure because it requires less columns and allows for greater use of the interior space. To enhance the addition’s exterior, we included features such as: a beautifully patterned brick wall, which can open to allow the two MRIs to be moved through the wall; a concrete sidewalk with a snow melting system; an awning to provide patients protection from the elements; a new North Entrance to the hospital.

Results: Serving Adult and Pediatric MRI Patients

As a result of this MRI expansion project, WellSpan York Hospital has now tripled their capacity to serve MRI patients, both adults and pediatrics alike. The addition includes not only a general waiting room but also a pediatric waiting room, complete with a Kitten Scanner.

When it comes time for their imaging, patients are escorted into one of the two new MRI rooms, which house the Philips 1.5T and 3.0T. These rooms are designed for ultimate patient relaxation. The light fixture in the ceiling can display a serene image, which the patient can choose from a collection. The circular lights also change colors over time, creating a pleasant ambiance.

For those who are inpatients, there are two patient bays, located near a nurse’s station. The bays are equipped with medical gas services, emergency power, and breakaway doors to allow greater access. As for the staff, they have their own new area, including bathrooms, lounge, and office, with easy access off the main rooms. Behind the scenes, to keep everything in the addition running smoothly, there are utility spaces, equipment rooms, and storage areas.

CMSI successfully finished this project in March 2020, earlier than originally planned, since COVID-19 was on the horizon. This allowed the new structure to pass the required city and state inspections, right before pandemic-related restrictions were imposed. CMSI was honored to help equip WellSpan to serve an increased number of MRI patients through the pandemic and beyond.