After nearly 10 years of meticulous planning and three and a half years of construction, today hundreds of doctors, clinical staff and hospital volunteers coordinated a move of approximately 150 Torrance Memorial Medical Center patients into the hospital's newly constructed, seven-story Melanie and Richard Lundquist Tower.
The event was orchestrated from a command center on the hospital's campus, while staff in each unit moved patients one-by-one over a 12-hour period. Careful consideration was given to ensure that comfort, care and safety were not disrupted. To welcome patients to the new tower and to make their journey more pleasant, musicians played soothing music along the move route.
"There were so many i's to dot and t's to cross to ensure that every patient was moved seamlessly to his or her new room in the Lundquist Tower," said Peggy Berwald, RN, MSN, senior vice president, patient services and chief nursing officer, Torrance Memorial Medical Center. "We have been planning and rehearsing this day for more than a year and have literally walked through every possible scenario that could happen. I give credit to our management and staff for putting patient care first to make this day a success."
Located on the existing medical center site at 3330 Lomita Boulevard in Torrance, Calif., the 390,000-square foot Lundquist Tower replaces Torrance Memorial's second facility built in 1971. The tower features the latest medical technology, more beds and a modern design. It houses 256 private rooms, 18 surgical and interventional treatment rooms, as well as a basement with a central utility plant and corridors connecting the existing hospital to the new facility.
The tower features the South Bay's most advanced Hybrid Operating Room. Nearly double the size of a traditional operating room, it offers breakthrough surgical and interventional procedures—sometimes simultaneously. Like other interventional rooms, the Hybrid OR features sophisticated imaging systems for catheter-based procedures, but also meets the sterility standards and has the equipment of a traditional operating room. This will enable providers to perform high-risk, minimally invasive procedures and switch to open surgery without moving the patient if a dire complication arises.
Minimally invasive surgery is advantageous to older patients with complex health problems, who would face difficult recoveries with open surgery or are not candidates for it. The Hybrid OR will be used to perform a full range of endovascular services including abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, carotid artery stenting, and transcatheter aortic valve replacement, known as TAVR.
Designed by HMC Architects and constructed by contractor, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., the replacement tower will serve as the new front door of the medical center and the centerpiece of the campus. The south entrance is positioned at the end of what's called the Toyota Plaza, and leads to the bright and open Vasek Polak Grand Lobby. The indoor-outdoor Yang Café, the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation Auxiliary Gift Shop, Admittance Services and the Turpanjian Chapel are all easily accessible on the first floor.
In addition to providing state-of-the-art medical technology, the tower's patient-centered design addresses the comfort of visiting family members by incorporating family-friendly lounges and overnight spaces. Gently curved nurses' stations in the Intensive Care Units allow for better care and visibility of patient rooms. The Auxiliary Healing Garden, between the new and existing facility, provides a serene and healing space for patients, visitors and staff.
Sixteen original installations of art are featured throughout the Lundquist Tower in a variety of media, sizes, styles and colors. Curator Cheryl Thiele worked closely with the artists to ensure that the works "feel like they were made for the space."
The tower's exterior skin is a combination of metal panel, precast concrete, plaster and curtain wall. The combination for the tower's facade responds to the correct solar orientation to reduce energy consumption and gives the tower a contemporary and elegant aesthetic.
Incorporating sustainable features equivalent to the same standards required of a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) silver certified structure, some of the tower's eco-sensitive design features include individual temperature controls to reduce energy, a white roof to minimize heat gain, low-level perimeter building lighting to reduce light pollution, recycled content and environmentally friendly finishes, as well as the use of water efficient landscaping and a healing garden to reduce the "heat island effect" from excessive use of hardscape. McCarthy also used sustainable construction methods throughout the project including recycling approximately 80 percent of construction waste, maintaining proper indoor air quality and utilizing local labor.
The new tower utilizes a buckling restraint braced-frame structure, and meets California's strict seismic requirements for both the structure as well as its contents.
Torrance Memorial has raised more than $130 million toward the new $450 million Lundquist Tower. At last year's Holiday Festival fundraiser, Torrance Memorial announced a donation of $50 million from Melanie and Richard Lundquist of Palos Verdes Estates. It was the largest donation in the history of the non-profit hospital. The tower was since named the Melanie and Richard Lundquist Tower and was dedicated to the memory of Richard B. Hoffman, MD, a radiologist and former chief of staff, who dedicated his career to building the medical center's radiology department.
For more information on the new Lundquist Tower, please visit www.TorranceMemorial.org/LundquistTower.