Press Release

September 1, 2020

Meritus Health’s Regional Infectious Containment Unit designed and built in 120 days.

HAGERSTOWN, MD – “We reinvented decision making and certification processes to recognize the realities of working remotely and serving the schedule to bring the facility online as quickly as possible for the community,” says William Heun, lead architect for the project and Principal with Matthei & Colin Associates.

Located on the campus of the Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, MD, the new Regional Infectious Containment Unit (RIC Unit) brings a unique model for the delivery of care and defines a new era of health care for the surrounding communities in Western Maryland. The 12,500 SF, 20 bed unit was designed and constructed in just 120 days and incorporates all of the planned care and documentation practices to support the community during the COVID-19 public health pandemic and future events as they may occur. The negative-pressure and ventilator-capable environment was designed adjacent to outpatient facilities and increases the overall capacity of available beds, while limiting the exposure of the infected patients to the hospitals overall general population. The new facility features two operating modes: “normal,” where the rooms function as typical medical/surgical beds; and “infectious,” where all 20 rooms operate under negative pressure to care for infected patients and provide clinical safety.

Daily virtual meetings and continuous communication among all team members during design and through construction was critical to the overall success of the project. Matthei & Colin Associates has been a trusted partner with Meritus Health since 2000 and continues to support their mission to improve the health status of their region by providing comprehensive health services to patients and families.

M&CA provided all planning, architectural, and interior design services.

Photography © John Cole

For more than a century, Meritus Health has been providing high-quality and compassionate health care to residents in western Maryland, southern Pennsylvania and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. Meritus Medical Center, the health system’s flagship facility, is a Magnet® Recognized and Joint Commission accredited 256-bed community and teaching hospital that serves as the clinical training site for western Maryland’s only family medicine residency program. Originally named Washington County Hospital, the hospital relocated in 2010 and is known for cancer care, inpatient rehabilitation, cardiac care, a Level III trauma center and emergency department, a Level II special care nursery and women’s and children services. Meritus Medical Group, a network of 20 medical practices with more than 100 providers, also provides urgent care and the medical care of area nursing home residents.

Since 1974, Matthei & Colin Associates, LLC (M&CA) has specialized in the planning and design of health care environments. Through the passion of our creative effort, we have emerged today as one of the nation’s few firms exclusively dedicated to health care architecture. We are committed to collaborating with our clients by understanding the challenges and recognizing the opportunities.  Our singular focus on designing and creating health care environments and our productive client partnerships result in highly individualized planning recommendations to address the unique requirements of each project. Though a proven process of listening, asking, and creating, we translate dialogue into design.

For more information contact:

William Heun, AIA, Principal
Matthei & Colin Associates, LLC

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