Kitchell project honored with coveted ASHE Vista award

The American Hospital Association’s American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) has presented a prestigious Vista Award to Kitchell and others who were part of designing and building the UC San Diego Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla, Calif.

“This project was and still is a milestone project for Kitchell,” said Kitchell Contractors President Steve Whitworth. “For many years Jacobs was the largest healthcare project in San Diego County, and the collaboration lessons learned from that experience reverberate throughout our projects today.”

The Vista Awards are not design awards, but rather recognize the significance of collaboration, communication and teamwork in creating optimal healthcare environments. It is considered the ultimate national recognition in healthcare building and engineering. Jacobs Medical Center was honored in the category of New Construction.

The project team’s transformational approach facilitated an environment of risk-taking and supporting each other. Team members who didn’t adapt to the project’s high-performance team culture were moved to more structured roles, if necessary. Innovation began at the earliest phases, with end-users including patients, family members, medical and hospital staff providing insights and continuous feedback that informed the design and environments.

The Jacobs Medical Center project transformed an existing community hospital into a world-class academic institution. The five-year, $972.9 million project encompassed four distinct phases: enabling projects to prepare the site for development, building an award-winning LEED Gold, 40,000-square-foot central utility plant, selectively renovating the existing community hospital and ultimately constructing the 245-bed, 10-story patient tower.

“This is the ultimate reward for UC San Diego Jacobs Medical Center and the project team,” said UC San Diego Senior Director of Project Management Randy Leopold. “It proves what a true high-performing team can accomplish when it understands the bigger picture and is empowered to ask questions, address challenges, take risks and continually innovate. It’s also a much-deserved validation from the industry, recognizing the thousands of individuals who poured their hearts and souls into creating something in our community that is changing lives.”

The award was presented at the opening session of the 2019 International Summit and Exhibition for Health Facility Planning, Design and Construction™, which was held in Phoenix this year. The two other winners were UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass (Renovation) and Lancaster General Hospital in Pennsylvania (Infrastructure).

Article originally appeared in Arizona Business Magazine:

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