People looking at computer monitor

Progress and detail define the new health campus

Friday, April 1, 2016 | Bayhealth Sussex Campus

Plans are moving forward to break ground on an innovative new health campus in southern Delaware this spring. Positioned on a 165-acre property just off of Route 1, the estimated 420,000 square foot hospital and outpatient center will allow Bayhealth to provide cutting-edge healthcare in a highly accessible and convenient location.

Designed around the patient experience, the new health campus will offer all private rooms, easier navigation, enhanced emergency services and the infrastructure to incorporate the latest technology in patient care.



Bayhealth is using a unique approach for design and construction. The process allows the people who will be working in the building — providers and team members — to design it.

“We are designing the building around the operations, not the operations around the building,” said Vice President of Operations and Administrator, Bayhealth Milford Memorial Mike Ashton.

The process is known as a lean lead design, which uses work flow design principles to eliminate waste, increase value, improve productivity and create positive outcomes.

The design journey began with an agreement between Bayhealth leaders, design firm Cannon Design and construction management firm Whiting- Turner. A select group of Bayhealth employees were chosen to represent their departments in the design process. This approach defines those team members as “user groups.” The groups — created early in the design process — are made up of providers, nurses and team members from almost every department within the hospital.

The success of the design process hinges on the trust and collaboration within the user groups. Front line staff outline their daily activities for a team of architects, the architects in turn design the building based on daily hospital operations. Everyone on the team gets an equal voice.

The team approach presents user groups with the opportunity to review current work processes and imagine how their work flow may improve by implementing the lean design principles on the new health campus.

“It’s vital for physicians and medical staff to be involved in planning the future space they will be using,” said Carol Morris, DO, Bayhealth Gastroenterology. She is one of many physicians who have made the design process a top priority. “It gives us a chance to use our previous experience to make the future health campus more efficient.”

Dr. Morris, like many other physicians, has sacrificed her time to attend meetings, but she says it’s worth it to ensure Bayhealth is able to provide the nation’s best healthcare to our communities.



The team leaders meet regularly in a repurposed warehouse that is officially named the “Health Campus Project Co-Location Facility.”

Man presenting a map Located just steps from Bayhealth Milford Memorial, the meeting space was created by the hospital’s Plant Operations teams. They outfitted the old building with plywood floors, plumbing, electricity, a new HVAC system and insulation, transforming the dusty warehouse into a hub of creative development.

Long tables fill the space where dozens of workstations are lined with computers and team members busily working. There are two private meeting spaces and a niche with a large monitor for group discussions. On a busy day, all three of these locations are used for simultaneous meetings.

Team leaders and trade partners meet at the co-location facility every other week. Project leaders travel from all over Delaware and as far away as Chicago to meet face-to-face at the facility.

Each month the Bayhealth user groups convene in the Medical Arts Building to review updates on the new health campus project. They serve as a “checks and balance” system to ensure the design doesn’t just look good on paper. They are tasked with deciding if the design will function efficiently once it comes to life on the health campus.

User groups take part in discussions on many topics; from department work floors and floor plans to placement of the doors — all with the patient experience in mind.

Visit to learn more about the new health campus project.