Cayuga Medical Center

Cayuga Medical Center

Cayuga Medical Center has been undergoing a few additions and renovations over the past two and a half years.  These exciting projects include the radiation medicine addition, the renovation and addition to the behavioral health unit and the 3rd floor medical/surgical unit renovation.  Each project presented unique challenges which resulted in innovative construction solutions.  Superintendent Carmen Pontello worked through the first few phases of the behavioral health unit. Superintendent Dale Coss led the radiation medicine addition and last phase of the behavioral health project.  Superintendent Ben Winstead led the 3rd floor med/surg renovation.  All three projects were managed by Project Manager Adam Legg with the assistance of Project Engineer Jon Livesay.

Radiation Medicine Addition

This addition will be home to Cayuga Medical Center’s new Varian radiation machine which streamlines radiation therapy.  The new system can not only reduce treatment times for patients receiving radiation therapy, but also delivers precise dose rates according to each patient’s needs.  However, with great power comes great responsibility.  The safe use of this radiation device, and the assurance that radiation cannot escape the room, was the number one priority in the construction of this facility.

Radiation is unable to travel at a 45 degree angle.  Due to this, duct work is carefully placed at such an angle to prevent its dispersion.  In order to further prevent radiation leaks, a 2 foot 6 inch steel door lined with lead separates the room harboring the machine. Surrounding this impressive door, interlocked high density bricks are stacked in rows with a staggered pattern specific to this type of build.  The space is also surrounded by thick cement walls.  After completion, a Geiger counter is used to ensure no leaks are present.

Currently, the building is being wrapped then furred out.  A layer of green board sheathing will be placed, then blueskin, 2” inches of plywood for insulation, a Tyvek build wrap, and finally the siding.  The final completion of this ensures the overall walls maintain an air and water barrier.  The roofing and fire proofing is done.  After the conclusion of mechanical and duct work, our Hayner Hoyt team will apply the finishes, trims, and final details.  Finally, the impressive Varian radiation machine will be placed in the center of the newly constructed space.

Behavioral Health Unit

The Behavioral Health Unit was started 2 years ago and replaced the kids department and helipad landing space.  As construction began, the helipad was moved to the ground just outside of the building. In order to tackle a major challenge that occurs when working in a healthcare facility this renovation consisted of 5 phases. Phase work allows patients to receive treatment in one section of the building while another is being worked on.  It is important that interruption of patient routine and care be minimized as much as possible.  We are currently at the tail end of the 5th phase.  This includes the completion of minor details such as base finishes, ceilings, and the conclusion of electrical work.

Patient safety is the Behavioral Health Unit’s main priority and thus a focus during installation and construction.  In order to protect patients, extreme detail is taken in assuring everything is anti-ligature.  All finishes are caulked securely to walls, door frames are angled and smoothed, and all mirrors are shatter proof and made from poly-carbonate material. Extreme details such as these are crafted into every feature in the facility.

Another unique priority is the unit's requirement that adolescent and adult wings remain separate.  This security measure assures that no contact is made between the two patient groups and must be maintained as such even during construction.  The adult section consists of a main hall, patient rooms, and a therapeutic room called Milieu which harbors books, tables, refreshments, and various therapeutic activities.  In the center is the nurse’s station, which was a part of Phase 1 in the construction process.  Though it connects the adolescent and adult wing, it still maintains separation through the use of secure double doors.  The adolescent section has classrooms, a dining area, patient rooms, and completely new floors and walls.

During construction, flooring installation proved to be a bit of a challenge as it was necessary to maintain egress for fire, safe passage for workers, and the ability to provide traffic routes for staff and patients. G&P Flooring rose to the challenge and effectively completed this task.

The successful renovation of this area supports the Behavioral Health Unit’s sense of healing and tranquility.  The staff is friendly and compassionate and the patients reflect this attitude as well.  The unit provides an imperative space for patient rehabilitation.

3rd Floor Medical Surgical

The 3rd floor Medical Surgical unit supports the treatment of pediatric patients.  The project consisted of room and bathroom renovations, which includes the epoxying of showers and fresh wall finishes.  This floor, as well as the other floors worked on, had asbestos abatement.

ICRA, or Infection Control Risk Assessment, was kept in mind during this renovation.  This is necessary in order to control airflow, contain pathogens, and work without disrupting patient healthcare.  To accomplish this, temporary walls were built around each room in order to contain the work and dust.  The room is then placed under negative air pressure.  Air naturally flows from areas of high pressure to areas of low which sucks the dust into, instead of away from, the room and prevents any of the contaminated air from escaping.  The room is then renovated as per usual, including HVAC upgrades.  Upon completion, the next room undergoes the same treatment according to ICRA specification and is continued until all patient rooms are successfully renovated.

As a whole, the three projects presented interesting challenges, such as radiation leak prevention, construction phasing, and ICRA protocols.  However, Hayner Hoyt tackled each of the challenges head on, yielding successful results while still maintaining patient care first and foremost.  The additions and renovations completed will allow Cayuga Medical Center to continue providing the space and resources for excellent care, treatment, and rehabilitation that can produce life changing results.