Morris Hospital expansion and renovation creates more treatment space, updated and relocated emergency services

New infusion therapy bays also offer privacy and social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Phase One of a multi-phase expansion and renovation of Morris Hospital in Morris, Illinois, is complete, offering visitors and patients a significantly improved front door and treatment experience. Led by DesignGroup, the project includes a lobby renovation, a new Emergency Department and the creation of an infusion department.

Images are courtesy of DesignGroup. © Tom Harris

“In 2015, DesignGroup worked with the outstanding team at Morris Hospital to conduct a Facilities Master Plan for renovations,” said DesignGroup’s CEO, Sherm Moreland, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP BD+C. “The result was a plan that looks holistically at the entire hospital and considers thoughtfully how to make renovations that continue Morris’ tradition of excellent patient care, while updating the facilities to serve more people quickly and comfortably.”

Phase One included the relocation of the Emergency Department and other services to streamline wayfinding for visitors by creating one front door. The main reception desk and registration kiosks are now positioned to be adjacent to the front door, making it easier for locating staff to assist visitors. The curve of the main concourse leads through the front of the hospital with the new Emergency Department and Infusion Therapy Center on either end. While natural points for wayfinding are created along the way, the path leads patients and visitors to Registration, Surgery Waiting, Obstetrics and Lab/Blood Draw.

The Emergency Department was made possible by the relocation of the administrative wing to allow for more clinical space on the first floor. It features a rapid care area for quick treatment of low acuity patients. The number of treatment stations increased from 11 to 17, and now include one trauma room, one treatment room, two rapid care stations, 10 exam rooms, a results waiting area, a Sexual Assault Nurses Exam (SANE) room, and 2 safe rooms for holding behavioral health patients.

In addition to the lobby renovation and new Emergency Department, Phase One involved creating an infusion department. It features four private bays and one private room, all of which include windows to allow outdoor views and natural light for patients and staff. During the coronavirus pandemic, these bays have proven essential for immunocompromised patients or patients who are unable to postpone or miss a treatment.

“The patients that use the infusion bays can be in those rooms for up to 8 hours a day,” said Angela Kolosky, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, associate principal at DesignGroup. “That’s already a stressful situation. If you add the coronavirus to the equation, you realize that the design of these new bays is vital to a patient’s mental and physical well-being.”

A refreshed brand standard was also created as part of the renovations, implementing a simple and sophisticated neutral palette with accents to designate key locations. Consistent language was developed across departments through materials used, front desk designs, accents in departments and more.

Future phases for this project involve an enhanced entry to the hospital, a serenity garden, renovations to cardio-diagnostics and additional patient services. The project is slated for completion in 2021.

About DesignGroup

Founded in 1972, DesignGroup is an AIA Ohio Gold Medal architecture and design firm with offices in Columbus, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The practice focuses on education, civic + cultural, library, healthcare, workplace and commercial projects. With numerous, award-winning projects located throughout the United States, DesignGroup's work is unmistakable, striking a balance of stunning contemporary architecture, thoughtful renovations, and sustainable building practices. Civic responsibility is integral to DesignGroup’s philosophy; beyond bricks and mortar, the firm is deeply involved in community organizations and its design principals are recognized as thought leaders in design. Learn more at


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