Project management at Capital Health

Monday, November 4, 2013 - 1:41pm

Project manager Doriano Sablone’s pride is obvious on a walk around the VG site of the QEII.

He’s only worked here since 2008, but is able to point out dozens of projects he’s project managed since his arrival.

One of them is the James and Edna Claydon Radiation Treatment Clinic. It opened in December 2012 and is home to three new linear accelerators, which deliver more focused radiation to the cancer site, protect the healthy surrounding tissue and help shorten treatment times. The clinic has resulted in faster treatment times and now sees 60 additional patients a day.

“By the time people get to this facility, they are very sick and the least we can do is to design a space that is as friendly and welcoming as possible,” Sablone says.

As project manager, he acted as a liaison between the architects, the healthcare professionals, the QEII Foundation and Capital Health. He says the key to a facility like this, was in the details.

“The chairs are more comfortable than normal waiting room furniture, the lighting looks more residential than institutional and we used muted colours and wood to soften the whole hospital experience,” he said. 

Unlike many other structures, hospitals are forever expanding and changing due to patient demand and tecnhonological advances. Sablone is one of ten staff responsible for project management to the entire Capital Health district. That includes 36 Buildings on 10 campuses totalling over four  million square feet of real estate. In addition, the offsite leased properties occupy 19 sites with 13 owners for an additional 232,000 square feet.

Another of Sablone’s  recently completed projects is new accessible washrooms at the Rehab centre.

“This is a unique environment because we are dealing with a population that is re-learning how to do the most basic things,” Sablone said. “We researched the latest code requirements across Canada but then went far above what was necessary to ensure we were meeting every possible need.”

He says building code only requires one grab bar in the stalls, but they installed three. The code called for one hand dryer, but they installed two at different heights. For the first time, quartz was used for the countertops to ensure better infection control and also durability. The taps are hands free. The buttons that open the doors have LED lights around them because research showed it helped people dealing with head trauma better identify them.

“These might seem like little things but it makes a big difference to the users. We’ve been getting rave reviews from patients and even housekeeping staff say it’s easier to keep clean,” says Sablone.

Sablone has also worked on the emergency department  expansion at the Halifax Infirmary, QEII site in 2008.  

“Working in healthcare is different than building schools or offices,” he says. “It’s very rewarding working in patient care and using my skills to improve their experience.”