Sheila Liccketto – Memorial Hermann Medical Group
- Written by: David Harry
- Produced by: Liz Fallon & Christopher Yates
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Sheila Liccketto was taught how to be practical and versatile by the time she was a teenager.
For instance, before she was allowed to drive, her father made sure she knew how to check the oil and change a tire and the brakes on a car.
This approach has informed her work as director of facility operations for Memorial Hermann Medical Group, which is part of the nonprofit Memorial Hermann Health System. Liccketto manages maintenance at about 100 Houston-area medical practices and clinics.
“In my work, I do everything from changing light bulbs to adjusting door closures,” she says. “I’m pretty handy, but I know what my limits are.”
Her automotive repair skills can come in handy, too. She spends a lot of time on the road, visiting each MHMG facility at least once a month and each new construction and expansion project twice a month.
“I like being hands-on and getting out to do what I need to do,” Liccketto says. “I’m a self-starter and like changing my schedule as I need to for the best for the clinics.”
Each day, Liccketto makes up to six or seven site visits in Houston-area communities such as Katy, Spring and Shenandoah. During her visits, she troubleshoots issues and makes life safety code compliance checks. Along with changing light bulbs and adjusting door closers, she’ll touch up paint and replace or tighten toilet seats and make other minor plumbing repairs.
When Liccketto chatted with Blueprint in December 2022, she counted four ongoing projects, as well as four more in planning or permitting stages.
She contributes to the planning process, working with MHMG’s project management group and architects, and her onsite inspections to ensure plans are being followed as well as compliance to fire and life safety codes and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
One project entails relocating and consolidating three clinics in Shenandoah, north of Houston, into the 20,000-square-foot Memorial Hermann Medical Group Primary Care & Endocrinology center. Liccketto says the new facility is designed to accommodate more physicians as the practice grows and is expected to open in March.
Another project involves relocating the Memorial Hermann Medical Group Fairfield to a new 12,100-square-foot clinic. The new clinic is built on the sixth floor of the professional building on the campus of the Memorial Hermann Cypress Hospital northwest of Houston. The new clinic has 24 exam rooms—twice the number of the old clinic—and is scheduled to open in April.
Additionally, in February, MHMG plans to start expanding the Memorial Hermann Medical Group Imperial Oaks as the practice grows from four to six physicians.
In January, MHMG obtained a permit to build the Memorial Hermann Medical Group Cross Creek in Fulshear. The free-standing building is planned to be about 8,000 square feet and accommodate four physicians, Liccketto says.
Save it and reuse it
Liccketto says while MHMG tries to standardize design for physicians’ offices and clinics, the varied practices and physicians’ needs prevent incorporating one design for all.
Also, MHMG adheres to some regulations and requirements for hospital construction that aren’t mandated for medical office buildings, such as sink valves that mix hot and cold water to prevent scalding.
Liccketto emphasizes safety at the facilities by ensuring the buildings have keypad locks to limit access to office and clinical areas. She also prefers facilities to have programmable HVAC systems set at 72 degrees for air conditioning and 69 degrees for heating.
She’s frugal, too. When a construction project is completed, she stores leftover building materials and fixtures to use again. When a clinic closes, she and her team strip out reusable materials such as eyewash systems, cabinet handles and hinges, and artwork.
“Daddy never threw anything away. I don’t want to either,” Liccketto says. “Reusing the artwork alone can save $10,000 a year.”
Moving into her roles
Liccketto’s father was a technical engineer who worked for a pipeline company, and her family moved frequently. She was born in Louisiana, then attended six different schools by the time she was 12 years old. After her family settled in the Houston area, Liccketto earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Sam Houston State University in 1986.
After graduating, she worked at a residential childcare facility. Eventually, she moved to working in physician’s offices in roles including office manager and surgery center administrator.
“I became a ‘Jack of all trades’ with heels,” she says.
When her boss started his own surgery center company, she joined him and managed details such as creating office policies and procedures, hiring staff and handling licenses and contracts. In 1997, Liccketto became senior vice president for development at Foundation Surgery Affiliates, which was building surgery centers throughout the U.S.
As she helped open the surgery centers, it became apparent she knew more about construction than the person in charge of it. So, she was tasked with working with physician partners and architects on the clinic layouts and managed the construction of 19 surgery centers over eight years. In 2005, she became a partner in Advantage Surgical Partners.
In 2007, Liccketto became facility manager of the Richmond Bone and Joint Clinic, which was acquired by MHMG in 2012. In 2010, while with Richmond Bone and Joint Clinic, she also became a partner in V Comp Solutions, a management and development company that built Sugar Land Surgical Hospital and the Sugar Land Physicians Pavilion. Those aren’t affiliated with MHMG.
Liccketto, who has a project management professional certification, has held a real estate license and was a certified ambulatory surgery center administrator, has never been swayed or intimidated because she doesn’t have an engineering degree or experience in the construction industry.
“I know there are certain people who may think without my engineering and construction education, that I don’t know anything about the work,” Liccketto says. “But finding the best and most cost-effective solutions is always exciting.”
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