Situated on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains and nestled in the valley of Glenwood Springs resides Western Colorado’s premier healthcare facility. Valley View Hospital is one of only 18 hospitals nationwide to be named a “Designated Planetree Patient-Centered Hospital.”
In the year 2000, Valley View embraced the Planetree philosophy, which is a philosophy of care with objectives to personalize, humanize and demystify each healthcare experience from a patient's perspective which, in turn, fosters a healing atmosphere between the patient and the caregiver, as well as between the patient and the patient’s environment. HFR Design incorporated the core components of Planetree into the hospital design, resulting in a non-institutional “Health Hotel” concept. The new five-story Calaway Young Cancer Center addition, completed in September 2012, further exemplifies this concept of a patient-centered “Health Hotel.” The patient, hereinafter referred to as the patron, arrives at the cancer center’s entrance, which is covered by a welcoming canopy sheltering the patron from inclement weather and nature's elements. The patron is then greeted by a valet attendant who offers to park the car, thereby eliminating concerns over parking. Volunteers greet the patrons in the entrance lobby, which features a comfortable fireside seating area flanked by a history wall of the hospital's origins and other visual points of interest. Volunteers will either assist or direct the patrons to their destination. The elevator located off the entry lobby will take the patron one floor up to the main cancer center reception and check-in desk. The desk attendant will further assist the patron in arriving at his or her destination, whether it be exam areas, chemotherapy and radiation therapy suites, or patient-integrated service areas such as the library, aromatherapy/massage, and salon/boutique areas.
HFR Design designed the Calaway Young Cancer Center to express the core components of the Planetree concept by creating an environment that is more like “home” than are traditional hospitals and by simplifying patron wayfinding by providing clearly marked areas using signage as well as visual cues: Building materials, floor patterns, ceiling patterns and visual points of interest help patrons find their way. The patron hospital rooms are comfortable and marked by spectacular views of the valley and mountain range. The building design also engages the senses and encourages human interaction, which is a major principle of the Planetree concept. Architectural design features include a main waiting area that is flooded with natural light. From there one can view the Healing Garden, which is inundated with soothing sounds of flowing water provided by the custom water feature, as well as fragrant scents from the garden foliage. A chapel was designed for those seeking spiritual comfort. The room is filled with peaceful backlit stained glass murals on which to reflect and meditate. A two-story atrium lobby located off the main reception area features a full-height, double-sided fireplace that serves both floors. The fireplaces are flanked by cozy fireside sitting areas with seating arranged to further encourage conversation and human interaction. The execution of these goals and design ideals has allowed Valley View Hospital and the Calaway Young Cancer Center to be a positive source of inspiration in a patient-centered movement that can be felt across the nation.