Special to The Dallas Examiner
Nearly six years after its architectural inception, the newly opened Moody Center for Breast Health at Parkland Health & Hospital System’s main campus symbolizes substantial improvement in local access to comprehensive breast care, according to its representatives. The state-of-the-art facility brings medical oncology, surgical oncology, plastic surgery, infusion, imaging and physical therapy services – previously spread across 10 locations – under one roof, making screenings, treatment and follow-up care more convenient for patients.
Construction of the Moody Center was empowered by $40 million in philanthropic donations to the Parkland Foundation, anchored by a $15 million gift from the Moody Foundation.
Burns & McDonnell was selected by Parkland to provide design and building commissioning services in early 2019. The 100% employee-owned firm’s commissioning team confirmed that the project’s overall performance meets its defined design, construction and programing criteria.
“We couldn’t be more proud to stand alongside Parkland Health and Hospital System, the Moody family and the Dallas County community on this outstanding health care achievement,” said Scott Clark, vice president and general manager of Dallas-Fort Worth offices for Burns & McDonnell. “Nearly a century ago, our firm’s co-founder, Clinton Burns, asked what can be more rewarding than ‘to be engaged in a profession that saves human lives and adds to the health, happiness and prosperity of your own community.’ Ninety-four years later, we proudly stand by that statement and service to communities in which we live and work across the globe.”
Each year, Parkland provides breast health services for nearly 44,000 individuals. The Dallas County public health care system diagnoses and treats approximately 400 patients with breast cancer annually – 20% of all breast cancer cases in Dallas County. More than five times larger than the original clinic, the 40,000-square-foot Moody Center will offer advanced tomosynthesis screening technology and expanded genetic counseling.
The patient population at Parkland is racially and ethnically diverse, often younger and diagnosed at later stages of their disease than national and regional norms. Many rely on Parkland, the only public health system in Dallas County, for care and treatment.
“The idea of this facility was to look at the patients’ challenges and determine what we could do to make sure they receive appropriate care,” says Kyle Lambert, associate commissioning manager for Burns & McDonnell. “The Moody Center houses a multidisciplinary team working together in the same space, improving continuity of care and leading to better outcomes for patients. As the commissioning agent, it was our mission to make sure that the facility infrastructure and support systems were operating properly so healthcare providers and other Parkland staff could deliver high-quality services and focus on their core objectives at all times.”
Design for the building began four years before its completion, so spatial planning adjustments were made when the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Patient flow, cleaning and sanitization, furniture layout and social distancing had to be considered in a COVID-19 world, and for going forward post-pandemic. Touchless bathrooms – removing air dryers, adding hand sanitizing stations – patient movement organization and other modifications were incorporated after construction was underway.
By utilizing a fully integrated approach that was employed from initial planning phases through construction, the firm supported sustainability efforts to meet LEED v4 certification requirements. Along with indoor air quality planning and testing, the firm also provided building envelope services and monitoring-based commissioning for the following systems:
- Building automated controls
- Building enclosure
- Emergency power
- Room pressurization
- Isolation room exhaust
- Humidity control
- Normal, essential and emergency power distribution
- Lighting and lighting control
It also leveraged the breadth of its multidisciplinary team to help Parkland execute indoor air quality assessment services per LEED v4 requirements. The firm’s local environmental services team was mobilized to evaluate facility design, develop an IAQ assessment action plan, coordinate the execution of testing services with the general contractor and provide on-site air quality sampling to meet LEED guidelines.