Moving made easier

Transition plans underway for new south campus hospitals

By: Laura Castro

A huge timer counts down days, hours, minutes and seconds until Dec. 10, 2017. It hangs prominently in the project management headquarters — a daily reminder of the task at hand as UF Health leaders and staff prepare to open the UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital and UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital.

0Blueprints2“We’re creating a campus that enhances the patient care experience and supports UF Health’s clinical missions,” said Brad Pollitt, A.I.A., UF Health Shands Facilities vice president. “Our focus throughout this entire process is to create the perfect patient experience and give our staff the best possible place to provide world-class care.”

The UF Health Shands Hospital Management Engineering Consulting Services team is leading the transition process to move staff and services to the new hospitals and communicate with internal audiences, patients and the public. With UF Health Shands Facilities leaders, they’ve set clear, focused goals from comprehensive planning to implementation.

The process relies on interdisciplinary teams — one steering committee and five subcommittees of staff who are developing preparation and moving plans. More than 300 leaders and representatives from diverse departments will handle all aspects of the moves. Support Services, Patient Care, Orientation, Information Technology and Communications subcommittees meet monthly. They are setting strict milestone goals to cover logistics, staffing, implementation, operations, communication and budgeting.


“Many of us were here when we moved into the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital in 2009 — we’re part of the legacy team,” said Roque Perez-Velez, P.E., CSSBB, DSHS, UF Health Shands Hospital Management Engineering Consulting Services director, “We’re relying on tools, mechanisms and processes that worked well in the past so that we can do it again successfully.”

Perez-Velez and his team are well-versed in transition planning and working with facilities, operations, nursing and support services. They complete an average of 71 projects each year and provide consulting support to departments throughout UF Health to make progress on quality outcomes and process improvement.

“The Facilities division has given us the opportunity to lead transition-planning processes for a variety of projects,” he said. Recent examples include the UF Health Shands Hospital Core Laboratory renovation, the UF Health Children’s Surgical Center relocation and the construction of the UF Health Shands Emergency Center at Kanapaha, set to open in October.

“These projects have been instrumental in training and developing different staff members on smaller, controlled projects that relate very closely to a major, two-hospital transition planning.”

Perez-Velez offered advice for staff who will be involved in the upcoming move.

“Observe, speak out, trust and participate,” he said. “Each one of us can bring something to the process to ensure that we’re doing right for both our patients and each other.”