Building value in a world with COVID-19

With the global healthcare situation, we have entered a new reality and a completely different way of managing our business. It seems as if daily, if not hourly, we experience changes that require us to quickly adjust while ensuring the safety of our jobsites, our people and our communities.

Our safety practices were showcased recently during a high-profile tour for city and state officials, featuring two municipal projects including our Sacramento Community Center Theater jobsite (a major expansion and renovation). The site visit was in response to recent discussions between the offices of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and California Governor Gavin Newsom regarding conditions at “essential” jobsites in the midst of the current coronavirus pandemic.

Our team, alongside contractors working on the Convention Center project, provided an overview of Kitchell’s safety protocols and practices. Each person on the tour was screened in advance of the visit and went through an orientation before entering the jobsite. The tour was attended by Mayor Steinberg, Council Member Steve Hansen (who represents the district where the projects are located), industry labor leader Robbie Hunter and others with the city and labor unions.

For more than an hour, participants were provided information about the strict practices Kitchell and the entire industry is following to ensure continuity of work while maintaining the safety of those on the jobsite. The project consists of about 130 on-site workers.

In a briefing the day after the tour, Gov. Newsom argued that California has very different conditions than in other states where construction is shut down, noting “We’ve been working very closely with the building construction trade” to ensure safety for the public.

“It was really an observation walk to demonstrate the preventative measures we’re taking, including PPE, social distance requirements, education, training and to share how the industry is approaching this so they can feel comfortable about how we’re managing the work while keeping people productive,” said Executive Director Matt Wade.

The project is just one illustration of how our work has rapidly evolved to adjust to our new world. Here are other measures we’ve taken:

  • Employees who are able to telework are established in their home offices
  • Health checks at the entrance of every jobsite for project personnel and trade partners
  • More frequent safety stand downs to encourage vigilance, in addition to enhanced cleaning processes at jobsites and constant personal hygiene reminders
  • Self-reporting, mandatory quarantines and jobsite re-entry protocols for those who are exposed to COVID-19
  • Ongoing support, increased communication and frequent collaboration activities at all levels of our company to ensure job teams and projects progress with few obstacles

In response to the federal government’s recommendation that the public wear some sort of protective face covering, we have ordered washable face masks for our employee-owners and their family members.

We remain vigilant, cautious, committed to our values and true to our purpose: Together, Building Value Every Day.

New Valleywise Health teaching hospital breaks ground

A new chapter in the 140-year history of the county’s public health safety net system began as Valleywise Health held a ceremonial groundbreaking for its new medical center at the Roosevelt campus. Built by Kitchell and designed by the Cuningham Group and EYP Health, the state-of-the-art medical center will be constructed adjacent to the current medical center and will continue to serve the healthcare needs of the community during construction.

The new hospital tower, located at 2601 E. Roosevelt Street in Phoenix, will be approximately 673,000 square feet, 10 stories tall and will feature the same services for which the health care system has come to be known.

Funding for the new medical center came as a result of the resounding response of voters approving Proposition 480, which provided Valleywise Health (formerly Maricopa Integrated Health System) more than $900 million to transform the Valley’s public teaching hospital and safety net system of care.  Beyond the world-class healthcare services Valleywise provides to the community, it is also the state’s only public teaching hospital. This new facility will only further the ability for future physicians and nurses to get the training they need through state-of-the-art devices and upgraded amenities.

“At the core of all we do, we keep the patient, their care and experience top of mind,” said Steve Purves, CEO at Valleywise Health. “In building this new medical center, we are honoring the request of our community members and are so proud to take this monumental leap to serve the healthcare needs of those who need it most and thankful to all those who made this possible.”

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From left: Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board of Directors: Chairman Mark Dewane; J. Woodfin Thomas, director, District 4; Mary Harden, director, District 1; and District Medical Group President and CEO Kote Chundu; Steve Purves, president and CEO, Valleywise Health; Mary Rose Wilcox, vice chairman, Maricopa County Special Health Care District; and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego break ground on the 673,000-square-foot Valleywise Health Medical Center in Phoenix.