Vermont Press Releases

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center honored for enduring quality of design innovation

News release — Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
March 25, 2014

Contacts: Rick Adams, Dartmouth-Hitchcock
(603) 653-1913
[email protected]

Terri Evans, Shepley Bulfinch
(857) 383-4253
[email protected]

LEBANON, NH – The American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA) has named Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center one of two recipients of ACHA’s inaugural Legacy Project Awards. The awards were presented in Orlando, FL, on March 18 at the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE) Planning, Design, and Construction Summit.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock represents a paradigm shift in hospital design, incorporating and foretelling some of the most significant healthcare delivery and design issues of the past 25 years. This includes:

· A patient- and family centered campus

· A focus on managing first costs and ongoing operational costs with a series of connected, yet discrete buildings

· A mall as the organizing concept and circulation backbone

· The use of daylight and views of nature as a wayfinding strategy and a partner to medical treatment

· A bench-to-bedside approach that connects clinical care, research, and education.

Shepley Bulfinch completed Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s 1.2 million square foot medical center in Lebanon in 1991, to provide a physically integrated campus of clinical, academic, and research facilities that would be flexible and adaptable over time.

“This is a place where great health care happens, but in a place that’s really warm and inviting, personal, and caring,” said Susan Reeves EdD, RN, who was Patient Move Coordinator for Dartmouth-Hitchcock when the hospital moved in 1991, and who now serves as a vice president at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. “That has been true from the day we opened until today. We still have patients and families walk in for the first time who say that it doesn’t feel at all like they’re coming into a medical center, and that’s the effect we wanted.”

Since it opened, the campus has more than doubled in size in a succession of projects, most by the Shepley Bulfinch, adding research, clinical, and administrative space. Its success stands as testimony to the clear organizing concepts of its original design.

“In the past decade our inpatient admissions have grown by roughly 30 percent, our OR cases roughly 60 percent … one in every four inpatient surgeries in the state of New Hampshire is performed here,” notes Daniel P. Jantzen, chief operating officer of Dartmouth-Hitchcock. “And so when I think of the original vision for this facility – an academic medical center serving a rural area – it’s really stood the test of time, and done exactly that.”

(See a video that includes Reeves and Jantzen, as well as other principals involved in the design of DHMC, at
“Seeing Dartmouth-Hitchcock not only stand the test of time, but to thrive as it has doubled in size is a real tribute to the strength of the long-term vision set out in the original plan,” said Jennifer Aliber AIA, ACHA, healthcare principal at Shepley Bulfinch.

According to D. Kirk Hamilton, FAIA, FACHA, Texas A&M University professor and founding father of ACHA, “the legacy of this project is its ability to double the area of the original project (greater than one million square feet), while maintaining the integrity of the original facility principles.”

The ACHA Legacy Project Award is the first award of its kind, celebrating design innovation that endures throughout the life of a healthcare project.

“A legacy is a gift that is passed down from one generation to another. A healthcare building that exhibits high quality designs and encourages high performance functioning with minimal upkeep is a legacy to those who inherit the building,” commented ACHA president Connie S. McFarland, FAIA, FACHA.

Since its completion, Dartmouth-Hitchcock has been cited as a model of healthcare planning and design in numerous articles and publications. In 1994 it received the Healthcare Facility Design Award from the Boston Society of Architects.

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