Case Studies

Mike Hayes – BJC HealthCare, Eastern Region 

Leading innovation in healthcare construction 

Sure, the quality of the care is the most important thing to any patient visiting a healthcare facility. But the patient experience is more than just the care a person receives.  

Mike Hayes | Vice President, Planning, Design & Construction | BJC HealthCare, Eastern Region 

Mike Hayes | Vice President, Planning, Design & Construction | BJC HealthCare, Eastern Region

As the vice president of planning, design and construction at BJC HealthCare, Mike Hayes leads important initiatives based on research and best practices that modernize the quality of the built space. These design and construction initiatives ultimately enhance patient safety and elevate healthcare quality across the organization’s extensive network of hospitals and care delivery sites.  

Hayes and his team are advocates for innovation, tirelessly pushing the boundaries in construction methodologies and hospital design standards and in revolutionizing the healthcare industry’s design/construction landscape. They champion a forward-thinking approach, emphasizing the significance of collaboration and teamwork in healthcare construction projects to facilitate proactive planning and seamless execution. 

Their commitment to excellence extends beyond construction endeavors; it’s about cultivating an environment where patient care thrives. Through their collaborative efforts, Hayes and his team are redefining industry standards, ensuring that each project reflects the organization’s dedication to delivering exceptional patient experiences. 

“In my role at BJC HealthCare, I’m dedicated to driving innovation and reshaping healthcare construction. By fostering collaboration and proactive planning, we aim to enhance patient safety and elevate the quality of our built spaces throughout our organization,” Hayes says. 

Transforming healthcare spaces 

One significant endeavor led by Hayes’s team is the Campus Renewal Project at the Washington University Medical Campus in St. Louis, which has been ongoing for over a decade. This project involves more than 1.4 million square feet of new construction, including two new patient care towers at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and an expansion of St. Louis Children’s Hospital, significantly increasing the number of private patient rooms. Investing in private rooms enhances patient comfort and privacy, aligning with BJC’s commitment to delivering superior patient experiences. 

Mike Hayes | Vice President, Planning, Design & Construction | BJC HealthCare, Eastern Region 

During the design of the 16-story patient care tower currently under construction, COVID-19 quickly spread through the community.  The design team and BJC leaders met virtually with front-line staff and managers regarding how design enhancements would enable flexibility in the new tower to accommodate surges in patient volume and isolate patient populations in the event of future pandemics. The team determined that enhancements to the mechanical systems and all acute care rooms to meet code minimum ICU capability will enable the hospital to convert all inpatient rooms to pandemic readiness when the facility opens in 2025. 

The Campus Renewal also encompasses renovating existing patient care facilities, ensuring that outdated infrastructure is modernized to meet current standards of care. This holistic approach to campus renewal underscores BJC HealthCare’s dedication to providing state-of-the-art facilities that support the evolving needs of patients and healthcare providers. 

Another noteworthy initiative overseen by Hayes is the implementation of innovative technologies and sustainable practices across BJC HealthCare facilities. From incorporating energy-efficient systems to leveraging digital solutions for enhanced patient care, Hayes ensures that BJC HealthCare remains at the forefront of technological advancement in the healthcare construction industry. 

Innovation in healthcare construction can be achieved by maximizing industrialized construction. With the use of prefabrication and modularization of scalable design components, a project can be completed at an accelerated rate without jeopardizing the quality of work and safety on-site. These components allow for an overall improved speed to market modern healthcare facilities. IMPACT Strategies is one of Hayes’ trusted advisors, bringing innovation, confidence, and certainty to every project. 

Looking ahead, Hayes highlights several ongoing projects planned for the rest of 2024 and into the future that are poised to significantly impact patient care and facility operations based on location and availability. These include constructing a new medical office in Farmington, Missouri, and expanding the region’s access to primary and specialty care services. A state-of-the-art Ambulatory Cancer Building with Washington University School of Medicine, opening this year, also underscores BJC HealthCare’s commitment to advancing cancer care and research. A new platform of ambulatory-style buildings across the system will expand access to local outpatient care. This portfolio will be led by a construction manager-led design/build team. 

“We also have important ongoing renovations and upgrades to existing facilities, such as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit renovation at St. Louis Children’s Hospital,” Hayes says. “By modernizing and optimizing critical care spaces, BJC HealthCare continues to elevate the standard of care provided to its youngest patients and their families.” 

Hayes’s leadership at BJC HealthCare is characterized by a relentless focus on innovation, collaboration, and excellence. Through strategic planning, design, and construction initiatives, his team is driving transformative change that positively impacts patients, providers, and the communities served by BJC. 

Hayes says he has been successful at BJC because of partnerships with companies like Introba that help complete projects on time and on budget, which benefits the organization’s patients and staff.  

“As BJC HealthCare’s trusted partner for over 30 years, Introba’s values align with Mike Hayes’s commitment to designing innovative, sustainable facilities that exceed expectations. Our collaboration reflects a shared vision of creating patient-centered environments where individuals feel supported, caregivers are empowered to deliver exceptional care, and the broader community benefits from state-of-the-art healthcare solutions. Together, we are driven to shape the future of healthcare facilities by providing world-class, environmentally conscious engineering that positively impacts all who depend on BJC HealthCare,” says Mike Swanson, Introba’s vice president of healthcare.  

Cultivating talent 

Hayes oversees a team of 52 dedicated professionals comprising planners, project managers, engineers, and business staff. With a commitment to excellence, Hayes ensures that his department operates seamlessly, aligning with the organization’s mission to improve the health and well-being of the people and communities it serves. 

Mike Hayes | Vice President, Planning, Design & Construction | BJC HealthCare, Eastern Region 

Recruiting and retaining top talent is paramount for Hayes and his team. While the organization faces challenges finding staff, Hayes emphasizes the importance of BJC HealthCare’s rigorous hiring process in selecting individuals who possess the necessary skills and align with the department’s culture. Continuous learning and improvement are integral to Hayes’s approach, as he strives to empower his team to excel in their roles. 

“At BJC HealthCare, our team is more than just a workforce; we’re a dedicated group driven by purpose. Our commitment to excellence and innovation propels us forward as we strive to make a meaningful impact in healthcare construction, directly related to our caregivers being able to deliver the best care in the region.” Hayes says. 

Flexibility is key in Hayes’s role as he navigates the ever-changing landscape of construction and healthcare markets. Adapting to industry shifts and challenges requires constant vigilance and preparedness, ensuring that the department remains agile and responsive to emerging trends. 

Despite the challenges, Hayes finds satisfaction in the purpose-driven nature of his work. Knowing that the spaces his team builds directly impact the lives of caregivers and the community adds deep meaning to their work. This sense of purpose drives Hayes and his team to overcome obstacles and deliver projects that contribute to improving healthcare outcomes. 

From puzzle solving to building 

Hayes’ journey into planning, design, and construction traces back to his early fascination with puzzles and problem-solving—a trait his fellow engineer uncle fostered. His academic pursuits at Missouri University of Science and Technology, where he earned a degree in civil engineering, further fueled his passion for creating and building. 

Mike Hayes | Vice President, Planning, Design & Construction | BJC HealthCare, Eastern Region 

Following his education, Hayes embarked on a career as a project engineer before finding his niche in the healthcare sector. Joining BJC HealthCare in March 2010, he delved into the complexities of construction within the healthcare industry, laying the groundwork for his future endeavors. 

After honing his skills at BJC HealthCare, Hayes transitioned to healthcare market leader for PARIC Corporation, where he gained invaluable experience and insights into the intricacies of construction management. 

However, the allure of returning to BJC HealthCare proved too strong to resist, and in August 2023, Hayes reentered the organization as vice president of planning, design, and construction. This crucial role allows him to contribute his expertise to the organization’s mission and vision in a leadership capacity. 

“BJC’s mission is simple but powerful: we are committed to improving the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve through leadership, education, innovation, and excellence in medicine,” said Hayes. “Every project we oversee, from renovation to new construction, has our mission in mind. Our department ensures that when a patient walks through the door of any of our facilities, the environment reflects our values of compassion, respect, excellence, safety, and teamwork. It’s an awesome challenge our team is proud to accept. And I’m proud to say one at which we excel.” 

View this feature in the Blueprint Vol. V 2024 Edition here.

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