Hospital design with staff in mind – DVM 360


Our 2022 Hospital Design Competition winners were recognized at the Fetch dvm360® Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, in August. The honorees included 5 merit award winners: Animal Care Center of Downers Grove in Illinois; Animal Emergency & Referral Associates in West Caldwell, New Jersey; Cypress Fairhaven Animal Hospital in Texas; South Creek Animal Clinic inside Spring, Texas; and Veterinary Clinic of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.

Here is a closer look at each of these merit award recipients:

Animal Care Center of Downers Grove

Animal Care Middle of Downers Grove (ACCDG) is a full-service animal care center, meaning it includes full medical and advanced surgery features as well as boarding, grooming, and day care. “The design was intended to be modern plus ultraprofessional. However , inside we wanted a warm feel throughout the front and back to make the hospital a place that was inviting for both the clients and employees, ” said Tony Kremer, DVM, ACCDG partner, and owner of 10 other veterinary hospitals in Illinois and Ohio.

“The lobby design is my favorite element. The lobby opens to the second floor above, which makes the lobby look and feel expansive. We put an elevator plus stairwell to the second floor, which give direct access and visibility to nonmedical areas like boarding, day care, grooming, and one of the adoption places for our humane society, ” Kremer said.

Animal Emergency & Recommendation Associates

Pet Emergency & Referral Associates (AERA) started out as a small, after-hours emergency clinic. The particular clinic later grew to be a 24/7 hospital, providing a wide range of services including emergency, anesthesiology, cardiology, critical care, dentistry and oral surgery, internal medicine, neurology, and soft tissue and orthopedic surgery. They also offer MRI, CT diagnostic and radiology imaging, physical rehabilitation, radiation oncology, plus an in-house blood donation program.

Animal Emergency & Referral Associates exterior.

Animal Emergency & Referral Associates dental suite. Photos by DeBalko Photography, LLC

“The hospital design was inspired by the goal of creating a hospital that is conducive to practicing the highest level of medicine possible by creating an efficient and sensible flow between each area of the hospital, ” said Skylar King, marketing manager for AERA.


“Involving staff with decisions along the way, from fluid pump choices to paint color, made this our new home and a place we love to come to, ” she said.

Cypress Fairhaven Animal Hospital

Cypress Fairhaven Animal Hospital is a 17, 000-sq ft animal hospital, with an entire second floor dedicated solely to cat care. The hospital has 10 doctors of veterinary medicine on staff who perform dental procedures and surgery 6 days a week. It offers regular, urgent, plus emergency appointments and drop-offs in the sound-limiting canine bunkhouses.

Lauren McDevitt, practice manager of Cypress Fairhaven, told dvm360® about her favorite element of the hospital, stating, “As a high-capacity, fast-paced hospital, our most unique and favorite element is the 19 exam rooms; they render our reception virtually unused, as we’re able to get appointments, including urgent care and emergencies, directly into an exam room and check out clients in the space, as well.

“We’ve implemented the use of a lot of technology to facilitate a productive workflow across our sprawling facility. Staff wear radios and have access to security camera feeds we call ‘the people finder. ’ All of us even developed our own digital whiteboard app that integrates with our [personal information management system] and allows us to track the particular progress and efficiency of our patients and staff from any workstation or cell phone. ”

South Creek Animal Clinic

South Creek Pet Clinic is a small pet practice that exclusively treats canines and felines and offers general medicine and surgical treatment, including radiographs and laser therapy.

South Creek Animal Clinic waiting room.

South Creek Animal Clinic pharmacy area. Photos by J. A. Greene Construction Services, LLC

Thad Gloriod, DVM, owner of Southern Creek Animal Clinic, explained the exterior and interior designs of the clinic in an interview with dvm360® . “Our hospital exterior is a warehouse design with brick and steel. On the interior, we have a sort of coffeehouse vibe. We get compliments often on our artwork, and the most common comment we receive is that this doesn’t look like a veterinary hospital inside, which we take pride in, ” he said.

“We have exposed steel in the lobby that is painted in order to accent it as well as a fire suppression pipe and valve, which is a neat aspect of the design to bring the warehouse really feel indoors but softened. We all made the lobby ceiling almost 16 ft high, which gives the lobby the feeling of being significantly roomier, ” he said.

Veterinary Clinic of Myrtle Beach

Vet Clinic of Myrtle Seaside contains high-quality digital radiography, in-hospital blood testing, and ultrasound for thorough body cavity evaluations. Amanda Thomas, DVM, is the mobile vet ultrasonographer, who provides extended ultrasound studies of the abdomen and heart whenever needed.

In addition to the medical services it provides, Veterinary Medical center of Myrtle Beach has separate areas in the facility that provide clean boarding space for dogs and cats. This allows clients to have a stress-free vacation, knowing that the their pet is supervised by the veterinary staff.

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