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Rendering: FKP Architects

Expected to open in 2018, Pediatric Tower E will be a 19-floor vertical expansion of existing space for Texas Children’s Hospital.

Another component of Vision 2010 was the vertical expansion of the Feigin Center. The expansion built eight additional floors to the existing 12-story center. The final piece of the ambitious project was the addition of the first suburban hospital designed for children to meet the growing need of the West Houston area. Pearsall attributes the successful completion of the project to her team, which consists of nine project managers and 16 additional staff members. “I often say to my project managers, ‘If you aren’t doing today what you need to be doing in 2–3 months, then you are behind schedule,’” she says. Prior to Pearsall joining the team, Texas Children’s Hospital outsourced much of its project management staff, which was one of her first assignments when she started. Pearsall dedicated the first five years to handpicking a project management department. She says having the right team in place is especially critical when dealing with accelerated growth like the kind Texas Children’s Hospital has experienced in the past several years. “We’ve added about 2 million square feet since I got here,” she says. “Since I have been here, Texas Children’s has grown into a pretty robust healthcare system.” That’s not just an insider’s opinion. U.S. News & World Report ranked Texas Children’s Hospital among the nation’s best children’s hospitals. In the past 10 years, Texas Children’s Hospital has treated nearly 1 million children. The hospital first opened in Houston in 1954 with three f loors and 106 beds, but the system has since grown to include 683 beds. Yet it hasn’t just grown on its original hospital grounds—it has since expanded into the Houston community. Immediately after wrapping up Vision 2010, Pearsall began strategic growth for another community campus. She says she’s noticed a trend in terms of shifting how healthcare is provided to individuals. “In 2012, we opened our Pavilion for Women, which was a whole new business venture for Texas Children’s,” she says. “Through that women’s hospital, we have gone out into the

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community with smaller offices offering obstetrics care closer to home. We’ve grown quite a bit in the community as well as the main campus.” Despite the rapid expansion, she and her team still keep a close watch over every project for Texas Children’s Hospital. “We have way more tentacles to our organization,” Pearsall says. “We run everything out of my office to let us keep our finger on the pulse and make sure everything is consistent.”

As far as future initiatives go, Pearsall is constantly thinking about how the changing healthcare industry will affect what will be on the agenda next. She has seen an uprising of community healthcare facilities and treating patients closer to their own homes. Nevertheless, predicting the future can be difficult when planning for projects beginning 8–10 years ahead of completion time. Her only advice? “Keep looking ahead and anticipate what is happening,” she says.

OCT | NOV | DEC 2016

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American Builders Quarterly #63