SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital, Master Plan and Replacement Hospital

Reinventing Healthcare Vocabulry

Using extreme schemes relating to the context of a setting on a hill in a national park, the 432,000 SF community hospital uses the narrow form of the building to draw people quickly into a large public space, and into key experiences. The design team invented a new healthcare vocabulary: Marketplace (flexible platforms for the clinics), Hotel (short-stay platforms), Factory (interventions), and Condominiums (inpatient beds), greatly improving the effectiveness and the overall experience for patients, families, and staff.

St. Mary’s Hospital – Jefferson City was located in a building with portions as old as the turn of the century. Additions and renovations over several years created a campus with a hodge-podge of different architectural styles attached to the original building. Not only from the exterior, but internally, the relationship between departments had no correlation, i.e. central sterile below surgery.

As with our previous project for SSM Health St. Clare Hospital – Fenton, the system wanted to streamline processes, reduce waste, and plan a hospital that would meet the needs of their staff while delivering a superior patient experience. HGA worked closely with SSM to design a facility focused on patient and staff flow providing exceptional quality, improving outcomes, and showcasing innovation.

To truly understand their customers and determine current and future needs, we led SSM through our Patient Experience process. To identify problem areas, we mapped the current state and incorporated input from patients and staff to create the future state with ideal processes. Every design decision focused on the patient experience and the core mission of SSM and became the basis for the site and facility design.

The hospital is arranged around a crescent ridge at the apex of the hill, giving med/surg rooms, main street and the cafeteria unparalleled views. Patient rooms are stacked on top to capitalize on the outstanding views. Support services are cleverly tucked underneath the entry platform hidden from hospital visitors’ view.

All 172 patient rooms are private with plenty of space for families, visitors, and caregivers. Private rooms help improve sleep, reduce the risk of infection, and offer greater confidentiality, allowing caregivers and patients to speak more freely about their care. The D&T divides the site into inpatient traffic and outpatient traffic providing clarity and ease of navigation at arrival and departure.

The new emergency department features 26 private rooms with bedside registration to minimize wait times and increase patient and family privacy. The department houses two trauma / resuscitation rooms, three triage rooms, ambulance bays, and a separate ambulance entrance. Surgery and the ED are placed adjacent to the back of imaging providing ideal access from the site’s entry. Imaging is located at the top of the ridge with inpatient entry on one side and outpatient entry on the other providing easy access for both.

The medical office buildings and other health-related complementary facilities—such as cardiology and open-heart surgery units, maternal and child care center—are included in this new campus.

The location of imaging was beneficial as it is close to the MOB for outpatient services, and close to the hospital’s core for inpatient services. The outpatient entry will have a shared lobby with the MOB, colocation out-patient services to increase efficiencies.


Jefferson City, Missouri

Building Type

Community Hospital


432,000 SF

  • 2016 American Society for Healthcare Engineering VISTA Award

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