MMC to Seek Modifications to Malone Family Tower Project
November 23, 2021: PORTLAND, Maine – Maine Medical Center (MMC) announced today it plans to modify its Malone Family Tower construction project to address access to care and capacity challenges and to achieve additional operating efficiencies.
Construction of the 265,000-square-foot building is underway on Congress Street, currently consisting of mainly excavation and foundation work. This new cardiovascular medical tower is the final piece of MMC’s Master Facilities Plan, and will reorient the hospital to Congress Street, expand availability of private rooms and provide state-of-the-art procedure rooms centered on cardiovascular care.
MMC plans to seek city and state approval for the following modifications to the Malone Family Tower project:
Acceleration of the build-out schedule of the fifth floor of the Malone Family Tower, so that floor and its 32 new beds are now expected to open in 2024. This means the building will have a total of seven floors plus a basement, with patient units totaling 96 beds in private rooms once the building opens.
Expansion of MMC’s bed license to 700, from 637.
Construction of a new Sterile Processing Department on the sixth floor of the Malone Family Tower. At 20,000-square-feet, it be recessed from the building edge, with a smaller footprint than the floors below. The sterile processing facilities will be above the new operating procedure rooms and adjacent to the existing operating rooms in the Bean building, providing efficient and easy travel for surgical supplies. Both floors six and seven are smaller than the lower floors; seven will consist of some staff rooms and the physical pedestrian linkage to the existing Bramhall campus.
“The need for getting additional beds online sooner is extremely apparent. MMC consistently sees record inpatient census levels, and the medical severity of the cases has increased, as has the average length of stay,” said Jeff Sanders, President, Maine Medical Center. “These increases in patient volume, medical severity and length of stay have exceeded our initial projections for demand. The pandemic has added to that challenge significantly.”
The decision to replace the Sterile Processing Department – which sterilizes all instruments for surgeries and other procedures – was made after further study of current and future needs. With this plan, MMC will almost double the size of its sterile processing facilities and be prepared to meet the growing demand for procedures at MMC. The placement of the sterile processing facilities directly above the new Malone Family Tower procedure rooms will provide increased efficiency and best use of space.
“Addressing these needs now, while the Malone Family Tower is still in early construction stages, is critical. The construction teams and necessary equipment are all perfectly staged to take on this modest expansion quickly and efficiently,” said Sanders. “We look forward to working with city and state officials to fully present the need and how these modifications will benefit our patients and the region by allowing us to continue to provide world-class care while also expanding access to that care.”
These modifications will add approximately $52 million to the overall cost of MMC’s Master Facilities Plan, bringing the total investment to $588.4 million. MMC estimates that this additional work will add approximately six months to the construction schedule, mainly consisting of interior work. The Malone Family Tower is expected to open in 2023 and the new Sterile Processing Department in 2024, pending regulatory approvals. Work on the Malone Family Tower project began in January 2020, with the dismantling of the former employee garage that had been at that location.
The new tower allows MMC to internally reorganize cardiovascular services within the hospital campus, which means timely, efficient access for patients and care teams and reduction of time and effort spent traveling through the hospital corridors. The 19 procedure rooms will align with industry best practices, providing adequate space to treat patients, ultimately improving the experience at MMC.
These new investments and MMC’s Master Facilities Plan are supported in part by generous community philanthropy through The NEXT 150|The Campaign for Maine Medical Center, which nears its goal of $150 million with the hope that more will be raised to support the build-out of these two floors.
About Maine Medical Center
Maine Medical Center (MMC), recognized as a Best Regional Hospital by U.S. News and World Report for 2021-2022, is a complete health care resource for the people of Greater Portland and the entire state, as well as northern New England. Incorporated in 1868, MMC is the state’s largest medical center, licensed for 637 beds and employing more than 9,600 people. MMC’s unique role as both a community hospital and a referral center requires an unparalleled depth and breadth of services, including an active educational program and a world-class biomedical research center. As a nonprofit institution, Maine Medical Center provides nearly 23 percent of all the charity care delivered in Maine. MMC is part of the MaineHealth system, a growing family of health care services in northern New England. For more information, visit www.mmc.org.