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Insights | 20th Apr 2023

What Makes a Great Healthcare Facility Builder

By Shawn Morrison, Senior Superintendent 


Care for the Colorado Community 

In my career, I have built everything from apartments, schools, hotels, churches, colleges, you name it, but nothing compares to the scale and magnitude of constructing a new healthcare facility. Hospitals, more so than most projects, are truly built with the end user in mind – they have to be. People experience their highest and lowest moments at hospitals. If they aren’t designed and built with that as a driving factor, we risk delivering a sub-par healthcare facility. A great hospital should fade to the background as a family welcomes a child, or as loved ones gather for a sick relative. This idea drives us through construction. If there are construction mistakes, flow issues, or poor workmanship we ruin these moments for our community and worse, can potentially impact care outcomes.

Exceptional Hospital Quality 

We have to be perfect, and that perfection begins with the Haselden Construction team. On my current project, a new hospital for Intermountain Healthcare’s Lutheran Medical Center, we have over 750 workers onsite at any one time. It is our responsibility to make sure that each team member is pulling in the same direction, but even more so it’s my responsibility to give each of those team members a purpose and a value in their work. I can ask a laborer to sweep up the jobsite, and he’ll complete the job with minimal effort. If we talk about how they are helping to build a building that will serve the community for years to come, something that they can tell their kids about, it provides a purpose to the task, ultimately giving us outstanding results with each and every healthcare facility project we take on.

Dynamic Construction Teams  

The team dynamic is crucial as we move through the construction process. Changes come fast as we work to give the client as much time as possible to get their best design and the best possible equipment. We need to be agile to take these changes in stride to keep the project on schedule, and the team makes that possible. On this particular project for Intermountain Healthcare, we worked closely with the owner to build a team of the best subcontractors in Denver, often having more than one subcontractor per trade. This allows us to work with incredible speed while protecting our workers from burnout and managing the manpower issues we all face. With possible competitors working together onsite, it is our responsibility to model the teamwork we expect at Haselden Construction. We are all one team working for the same goal – to construct the best possible hospital for our client. I make it my mission to exhibit the kind of teamwork I expect – from making decisions that will benefit the entire team to ensuring everyone on the jobsite is treated with respect.

Constant Team Collaboration  

This attitude of teamwork carries over to our interactions with the design team and owner. The special thing about hospitals is that every group wants the same thing – to deliver an exceptional space for the community. I walk the construction site with the owners, doctors, nurses, and any other stakeholders both for safety and to listen. They are invaluable for determining if we are meeting expectations and planning for future changes. During planning meetings, we have to build a culture of trust to allow us to move fast with accuracy. I trust that my owners want to hear the good and the bad. If a new change or addition isn’t feasible, they need to know right away. Their time is invaluable, and honesty allows us to get to the best solution faster.

At the end of the day, I want the client to know that we have done our best work to deliver them an exceptional healthcare facility. My goal is for the team to have the satisfaction of saying “I built that,” knowing our hard work contributed to something that will transform a community for decades to come. 

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