The ACI Boland Heal Studio has been partnering with PAM Health since 2019. Over the last several years, we’ve completed eight, new build designs and have three in progress. Through close collaboration, we’ve helped evolve program efficiencies, made operational adjustments, and created a cohesive experience for patients and staff, as we’ve worked together on their national build-out.
Below, you’ll find our interview with interior designers, Christine Parisi and Bailey Ramaekers, as well as project designer, Wilson Meeks, III. Learn how they create consistency across different locations and when they deviate from PAM Health’s corporate standards.
TELL ME ABOUT THE KINDS OF PROJECTS YOU’VE WORKED ON WITH PAM HEALTH.
Bailey Ramaekers: I’ve been working with PAM Health from the very beginning. Initially, this started out as a single outpatient rehab facility, but has grown into multiple facilities across the country. Because these projects were all the same facility type, our goal was to create a prototypical design that could help PAM Health open facilities more quickly. There was no need to reinvent the wheel for each project with them.
Christine Parisi: I have worked on a behavioral health hospital and many rehabilitation hospitals with PAM Health. All of these projects have been ground-up buildings and a combination of the new prototype buildings and several non-prototypes.
Wilson Meeks, III: I have worked on the PAM Health Rehabilitation Hospitals – primarily projects in Florida and Colorado, but also the upper east coast. All these projects have been ground up builds on new sites that reflect the new prototype for PAM Health.
HOW DO YOU CREATE CONSISTENCY ACROSS EACH PROJECT?
Bailey Ramaekers: At the beginning of our partnership, we looked back over their past facilities, and not only were the layouts different, but the finishes were too. We have helped create consistency and enhanced their brand through a cohesive color palette, standard finishes, typical room layouts, and standardized equipment cut sheets.
Christine Parisi: Consistency starts at the beginning of the projects. Even with our new prototype buildings, we start with providing a detailed schematic design package. We then move to our design development package that contains more room specific details. The final package of the design process is the construction documents package. Each phase has a review opportunity for the PAM Health team with different levels of detail.
Wilson Meeks, III: We create each project from a figurative and literal project basepoint. Changes happen along the construction and design process; however, we are intentional about making any meaningful modifications to existing projects while in construction that will make the buildings as consistent as possible. This feature benefits overall patient care and employee effectiveness. If healthcare workers are familiar with a consistent layout across the building, this increases the level of care they can provide patients across all campus locations.
WHEN DO YOU DEVIATE FROM THOSE STANDARDS AND IN WHAT WAY?
Bailey Ramaekers: Deviation in the standards doesn’t happen very often. If it does, it’s because of two things. First, we are shifting our design to accommodate a different number of patient beds, thus following the Facility Guidelines Institute (or dictating codes). Or, a solution we previously had for a design is no longer working. Overall, the process of design and standards is rigid, but the key is having some fluidity. That allows us to be adaptive to each project based on the location and design program.
Christine Parisi: We also deviate slightly from the standards to accommodate the constantly changing economy and material availability. Although we may need to make changes, we try to keep within the same language to continue PAM Health’s identity.
Wilson Meeks, III: In my role, I’ve found deviations from project to project are mainly to the exterior of the building. This is primarily driven by the local jurisdiction and the local design aesthetic. However, it is our intention to maintain the desired architectural vernacular of the PAM prototype.
HOW DO YOU HELP SUPPORT PAM HEALTH’S GOALS IN YOUR ROLE?
Bailey Ramaekers: My role with PAM is a Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment (FF&E) planner/coordinator. I act as a liaison between PAM’s FF&E procurement group and ACI Boland’s design team. After receiving a list of equipment (items, manufacturers, quantities) from PAM, I created a standard book of all their FF&E information. This helps the procurement team know what they are purchasing and where it occurs on our drawings. It also helps our design team plan with consultants (like MEP and Structural) for appropriate utilities in the design. Ultimately, my role helps mitigate the risk of not having the appropriate design support for any of their equipment, whether that is utilities or size accommodations.
Christine Parisi: My role with PAM is interior designer. I worked with the PAM team to develop a palette of materials and colors. One of PAM’s goals was to create a consistent look and brand for their buildings across the country. We have been able to use the same palette for both behavioral health and rehabilitation hospitals. Creating a consistent aesthetic has also helped with pricing. Another part of my role has been to work with vendors to develop purchasing agreements or secure pricing for the PAM projects due to quantities. This not only helps the design team and PAM, but also the contractors. My final role is to assist with space planning, ADA clearance review, casework placement and assist Bailey with FF&E layouts.
Wilson Meeks, III: Our team monitors the progression and modification of each building to ensure PAM Health will receive a completed project that functionally works for the intended use. It is important to us that they are satisfied with the completed project, so our team makes frequent visits to each project to monitor the status. The prototype design continues to get improved upon with input from the design team, contractors, and developers. The great relationships that we have cultivated across these three groups have refined the overall design to make a better finished product for PAM.
HOW HAS THIS LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIP BENEFITTED PAM HEALTH?
Bailey Ramaekers: This long-term partnership has helped PAM Health in many ways. Standardizing their design from room layouts to finishes and equipment has allowed ACI Boland to create quality work for them faster. This allows PAM Health to earn a higher profit by opening their facilities sooner and spending less on design labor. Also, PAM has become a welcomed client of ours that makes our whole team feel like a family. We have been able to build a relationship of value, gratitude, honesty, and camaraderie.
Christine Parisi: The long-term relationship has helped to create a signature interior look, floor plan consistency throughout different building styles, and better identification of equipment needs and spaces requirements. Whether a patient is staying in Florida or Texas, the facility will fit with PAM Health’s brand.
Wilson Meeks, III: PAM Health is able to rest assured that their interests and needs are always at the forefront of the design team’s mind. PAM and ACI Boland can troubleshoot design solutions on multiple projects with the full knowledge of all those projects from start to finish. We are also able to provide insight and suggestions on projects that we have not been a part of due to our extensive ongoing relationship.