Adrian Godwin – Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport
When it comes to healthcare facilities, maintaining a smooth and efficient environment is crucial to ensuring the best possible patient experience. The work of Adrian Godwin, director of facilities management for Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport in Louisiana, is instrumental in achieving this goal.
With a dedicated team of over 70 employees, Godwin oversees the maintenance and improvement of the hospital’s infrastructure. From renovating outdated areas to managing unexpected challenges, Godwin and his team play a vital role in creating a safe and comfortable environment for patients and staff alike.
“Our organization’s mission is to serve, teach, heal, discover, lead and innovate the community and provide the best patient experience and quality of care possible,” Godwin tells Blueprint on a mid-October afternoon.
In a hospital setting, priorities can change rapidly. What may be a top priority one week could easily be displaced by a more urgent issue. This requires Godwin and his team to be adaptable and resourceful in their approach.
As Godwin explains, “We may have a leak in an operating room, and we can’t simply shut down the ORs and ERs. We have to prioritize infection control and ensure schedules are adjusted promptly.”
To effectively manage such a complex operation, Godwin works with a team of various skilled certified professionals, including in-house plumbers, HVAC technicians, electricians, carpenters, locksmiths and painters. Mechanical engineers and architectural staff on-site support the team’s ability to handle intricate projects and ensure compliance with building regulations.
Located in Shreveport, Louisiana, which is not considered a major city—Dallas is about three hours away—the health care facilities under Godwin’s responsibility offer a wide range of services. To accommodate necessary renovations while minimizing patient disruption, the organization leans on its sister hospital, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport—St. Mary’s Medical Center—to collaborate and temporarily relocate departments as needed.
“We support each other, and if we want to renovate a department, we relocate our services to their location, and vice versa,” he says.
The Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport hospital is over 60 years old and has undergone ownership changes. Founded in October 2018, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport is a public-private partnership between the nationally recognized health system Ochsner Health and the academic and research center LSU Health Shreveport.
This partnership has allowed for the opening of a new hospital, an inpatient behavioral health treatment center and expanded clinic access across the region with primary care, community health, urgent care and specialty clinics.
Besides addressing major renovations and equipment replacements, Godwin’s team also focuses on improving the patient experience. They have implemented a patient feedback system to address concerns and complaints. One recent issue that came up was the availability of parking. To address this, the hospital has restriped parking lots, created more defined parking spaces and pathways to the hospital and repaved the parking surface.
“Things that might seem small in the grand scheme of things make a big difference to our patients and visitors,” Godwin says.
The facilities team has also worked on upgrading the front lobby, taking suggestions from the hospital’s CEO, patient advocate and greeters. Concerns such as cold air coming in through the doors were addressed by redesigning the walls and installing glass partitions to block the wind. They have also implemented wayfinding signage and repolished the floors with granite.
Safety and security are also concerns for Godwin and his team. Card access and panic switches are now standard upgrades during any renovations. The break room in the burn unit, for example, requires card access and has a panic switch. Charge nurses also have mobile panic switches for emergencies.
Other changes and upgrades
But Godwin’s work doesn’t stop there.
During the summer, Louisiana and most of the southern states experienced record heat, and the worst of it happened when the hospital was planning to upgrade an existing 750-ton chiller with a new 1,200-ton unit. Due to various issues caused by the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and microchip shortages, the replacement unit was continuously delayed and wouldn’t be delivered until November.
“We leaned on the contractor and pressed him to move quicker,” he recalls. “We ended up with a newer and larger unit that was installed successfully,” he says.
Other recent upgrades that are helping to improve the patient experience provided by Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport include renovating and relocating the discharge pharmacy to a more convenient location for all patients entering and leaving the hospital. To provide additional redundancy, Godwin and his team oversaw the full replacement of the hospital’s medical vacuum system, which was completed in 2022.
Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport is renovating and improving the fourth floor, which will house the burn unit. The new space will include two Hydro rooms, two private treatment rooms, four treatment bays, ample storage and office space. Construction began in August 2023, and Godwin expects to open the floor to patients in April 2024.
The career he always wanted
Godwin earned a degree in electrical engineering from Southern University A&M and worked for FedEx during college in various roles, including as an outbound shift leader. His high school sweetheart—and now wife—is also from Shreveport, but Godwin had his sights on moving to Dallas.
“I figured it would be easy to find a career there quickly,” he says.
He recalls that he didn’t have a particular interest in working for a health care organization; his only desire was something local where he would be close to his family.
“I didn’t choose health care. Health care chose me,” he recalls. “I don’t deal with patients directly, but there is satisfaction knowing that what we do behind the scenes directly impacts their care.”
Godwin’s passion for change and making things different—and better—is evident in his approach to work. He enjoys the challenge of walking into something new each day and tapping into his experience, expertise and creativity to solve whatever challenge presents itself.
When he started at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport in 2012 (formerly University Health), he was an estimator and quickly worked his way up to his current leadership role, which he assumed in 2022.
In addition to doing right by the hospital’s patients and staff, Godwin has worked hard to change the stigma associated with the hospital.
“My mother-in-law retired from here before I joined, and there was an assumption and stereotype that this was a place that only poor people went for health care,” Godwin says. “But I think we’ve done a lot to change that feeling.”
View this feature in the Blueprint Vol. II 2024 Edition here.
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