We are thrilled that The University of Kansas Heath System’s Strawberry Hill Behavioral Health Hospital was the Bronze Winner in this year’s Healthcare Design Magazine Remodel/Renovation Competition.
The Strawberry Hill project transformed a vacant, former government facility into a 48-bed inpatient hospital in the heart of the underserved Kansas City, Kansas. The project was an opportunity to consolidate beds from two outdated facilities while expanding total bed count. One main objective with the Strawberry Hill Behavioral Health Hospital was to be transparent about the planning and design process while breaking down stigma associated with mental health facilities. The team engaged residents, city officials and state organizations for an open house, Q&A sessions, walk and talks downtown and construction tours. Clinicians and facility managers participated in user group meetings throughout the design process to build consensus and find balance between operational needs, facility needs, patient and staff safety and quality of environment.
The team utilized flexibility within the patient units by creating three separate pods, or neighborhoods, within a single 24-bed unit, the pods can operate as one large unit, as two smaller units, or three smaller units by controlling a series of cross-corridor doors. This allows the care team to separate populations by gender, age, or diagnosis. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the facility was able to isolate patients who tested positive while providing the same resources and services to all.
The large atrium space was initially a challenge for the design team, but ended up providing a great opportunity to bring in natural light and plant life to group rooms and activity spaces. Planter beds were added on each level and vertical green walls rounded out the atrium design, and an outdoor courtyard was added for patient and staff access on the main level.