COVID-19 Healthcare

Southcoast Intensive Care Unit Completed

Southcoast Health’s intensive care unit at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford

New Bedford, MA – Shawmut Design and Construction announced the completion of Southcoast Health’s $14 million, state-of-the-art intensive care unit at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford. As part of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the project was accelerated by a month to allow for earlier occupancy, enabling the hospital to accommodate the expected surge in ICU patients.

In partnership with Lavallee Brensinger Architects, Shawmut renovated and expanded an existing vacant space on the hospital’s fourth floor to create a modern, leading-edge, 16-bed intensive care unit. The new, 16,000sf space doubles the size of the hospital’s previous ICU, which will eventually be repurposed for medical and surgical patients, allowing for overall increased capacity. Additionally, the renovated ICU will help position St. Luke’s Hospital as a Level II Trauma Center. 

Spacious patient room in the new hospital

The new unit adds 16 beds in 440sf rooms to St. Luke’s Hospital’s capacity, creating a more modern, spacious, and accessible space. Southcoast Health nurses, physicians, providers, clinical staff, and support services contributed valuable insights to the overall design and build of the space, optimizing both the patient’s and care team’s overall comfort and experience.

By incorporating the latest intensive care and patient room evidence-based design, the unit features private universal rooms with an advanced video system for monitoring and safe patient-nurse communication, as well as increased support space and transitional screening windows for privacy. The layout also allows for multiple levels of patient observation with no adjustments to FTE’s, and minimal-to-no increase in staff travel distances. 

Nurses’ station in the recently completed intensive care unit

To promote a calming, healing environment, the new ICU features images of the region created by local artists. Families can meet with physicians in a dedicated conference room and, when staying for long hours, can wind down in a quiet and comfortable lounge area, complete with refreshments, TV, and showers.