Most dialysis patients schedule treatment three days a week for up to three hours per day. Compounding this burden can be outdated or cramped accommodations. To respond to the region’s growing population requiring dialysis treatment, Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital leadership elected to replace a decades-old facility and expand into an adjacent 9,500 SF space within a leased 1960s strip mall. The resulting renovated space is uplifting, user-friendly, and customized to accommodate the dialysis process.
The age of the mall building’s shell made changes to its structure complicated and costly. The A/E team instead designed an additional horizontal layer of light gauge framing that was added to support needed ductwork, plumbing, ceilings, and lighting. This creative solution provides completely separate support for all building systems, much like a “building within a building.”
Joining several provider offices already there, the dialysis center was reorganized to provide 12 larger, more comfortable dialysis cubicles for patients. The design also brings improved access and sightlines. Warm, durable, wood-look flooring and bead board wainscoting create a non-clinical feel to the entire facility. A prominent feature of the dialysis treatment room is a series of skylight-like light fixtures that seemingly bring the Aroostook County sky into view.
The facility also includes a private, enclosed treatment room for Hepatitis sufferers, who require separation from the general dialysis population. It also provides an exam room for visiting providers along with a home dialysis training room used to teach patients how to complete the process at home. Family and friends who drive patients to dialysis have their own waiting area with outside views and natural light. Together, these decisions created a safe, welcoming, effective dialysis center where Aroostook County residents can receive this life-saving treatment.