Since entering the United States from Rome in 1893 to care for the ailing wife of a local Chicago civic leader, the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary have upheld an extremely endearing tradition of tending to the sick throughout the entire Chicagoland area. This dedication has extended well beyond the building of the original Little Company of Mary Hospital in 1930 and into a $180 million Campus Transformation Project, which culminated in the summer of 2014.
Key to this massive renovation in Evergreen Park, IL, was the construction of the new 290,000-square-foot West Pavilion patient tower designed to combine the finest state-of-the-art medical care with an aesthetic, spiritual environment committed to healing and peace of mind.
A Long List of Features
Included in its many features are the first Comprehensive Women’s Center for Life and Health along with a wealth of amenities such as a water wall promoting patient and professional staff serenity, spacious private rooms filled with natural lighting, the original artwork of local artists, and the Family Birth Center (FBC), providing roomy, tranquil housing for mother, baby, and families.
“The Little Company of Mary Hospital has a long history of adapting to changing times and delivering personalized, compassionate care to those we are called to serve,” said Mary Grimm, RN, nurse manager for maternal child services. “This four-year transformation process was our latest bold effort to create a beacon of joy and place of healing and hope for the entire community based on the provision of medical and patient services that rival any in the country.”
Another fundamental element to this monumental renovation project was the design of the clinical area and nurses lounge located adjacent to the West Pavilion’s maternity ward.
Choosing the Right Materials for the Job
Painstaking care was involved with the specification of materials and supplies that would not only increase staff efficiencies but also ensure personal comfort. This included the selection of 500 beige Tufftec Lockers from Scranton Products to replace the previous metal lockers, which were subject to dents, rust, and other maintenance problems. And the Z-shaped locker design enabled them to be stacked top and bottom, which greatly maximizes space by enabling two lockers to fit into the space of one.
The new lockers each have a shelf, hangars, hooks and shoe space.
Tufftec lockers are available in eight classic and two speckled colors, and a website color visualizer lets the designer or end user see the colors in the whole unit or just applied to the door and frame for mixing color combinations.
“The first thing we noticed was that the Tufftec lockers were so quiet,” Grimm explained. “The banging from the metal lockers could be heard outside of the lounge and into the halls, often creating a disruptive environment for mothers and their new arrivals. Noise is no longer a problem in the wing.
“In addition, the new lockers are far more hygienic than metal because bacteria cannot live on the surface for very long,” Grimm said. “And, whereas crevices and rust can harbor bacteria and viruses, the Tufftec lockers help to prevent the spread of illnesses by being so easy to clean and wipe down. They even have a separate shelf for shoes, which helps to reduce the spread of bacteria and germs to scrubs, lab coats, and other sanitary hospital attire.”
Lower Maintenance and Financial Costs
According to Grimm, other Tufftec benefits include a decrease in maintenance time and costs. She said the janitorial staff reports that the angled tops on the lockers make them easier to clean completely. They also hold up well to the daily use of harsh cleaning chemicals.
In addition, the engineering staff finds that the hinges don’t need frequent repair, and the HDPE material doesn’t chip or scratch.
Because they’re GREENGUARD Gold Certified to meet the strictest standards for indoor air quality, Grimm also believes the lockers are the ideal choice for an organization dedicated to safeguarding health and meeting green standards. “It is very important, especially in pediatrics, that the indoor air quality be safe.” she said. And the new hospital recognizes the importance of being kind to the environment by meeting the highest green standards, she added.
Engineered for strength and durability, Tufftec’s HDPE material withstands the harshest daily use while remaining virtually maintenance free. The lockers are also impact, dent, and graffiti resistant as well as impervious to moisture and naturally resistant to bacteria, mold, and mildew. No need for painting means there are no VOC emissions.
“Aesthetically, they look like the day they were installed,” Grimm noted. “Compared to metal, these lockers maintain safety and security while reducing surface bacteria. I would highly recommend Tufftec Lockers to any facility going through renovations.”