|Project:||Baxter Regional Medical Center|
|Location:||Mountain Home, AR|
|DESIGNER / ARCHITECT:||Lori Kauffman, Baxter Regional Medical Center|
|ARMSTRONG FLOORING:||Natural Creations ArborArt
Natural Creations EarthCuts
“I could not believe what I was seeing. The walk from the changing area to the exam room was like walking through an art gallery…it was just beautiful,” said a patient in the newly opened Breast Imaging Center at Baxter Regional Medical Center. In addition to the bright, vivid-colored pictures on the walls, restful lighting and magnificent fixtures, the luxurious-looking NATURAL CREATIONS Lusxury Flooring added to the spa-like atmosphere. Lori Kauffman, ASID, Baxter Regional’s designer, says the patient’s reaction is exactly what she and the hospital’s management hoped for. She explains, “The design concept was to create a space that was soothing and comforting to women coming in for various procedures, from standard screening mammograms to needle biopsies. The space should feel as though you were in a spa atmosphere, yet still be professional. I feel I accomplished the goals of the client and maybe even exceeded their expectations. I recently submitted this project to the American Society of Interior Designers, South Central Chapter, and was awarded a ‘Gold Excellence in Design Award for Healthcare’ for this project."
In 2011, Baxter Regional Medical Center became the first facility in Arkansas and Missouri to offer patients 3-D tomosynthesis equipment for mammograms. Hospital management is immensely pleased to offer patients the benefits of this new and cutting edge technology, which is why they wanted a design statement befitting their state-of-the-art equipment. Private rooms and soft, warm robes await each patient. Personal lockers allow patients to store their belongings so they feel freer to move about the 11,500 square foot space. The hospital’s website states, “The experience is like none other, and it’s all just waiting for you at the new Baxter Regional Breast Imaging Center.
Kauffman says she met with many staff members to collaborate on the design for this project. The concept involved creating a space that was soothing to women—a space that was comforting yet still reliable. She thought warm wood and tile tones would give the space an upscale, non-institutional feeling and the hospital’s vice president of Operations, Rudy Darling, agreed. He asked others on the construction committee as well as the radiology staff to approve Kauffman’s overall design scheme. Everyone agreed that warm and natural-looking interior finishes would contribute the right look and feel to the space.
Kauffman specified Natural Creations Luxury Flooring to create the desired ambiance for the flooring. She chose Natural Creations EarthCuts Luxury Flooring in ‘delicato ochre’ for the field tile, and Natural Creations ArborArt Luxury Flooring in ‘exotic cherry chestnut’ for the floor’s borders. The field tile continues outside of the space into adjacent corridors and lobbies, extending the spa-like look beyond the breast imaging area.
Although a spa-like look was a key driver on this project, practicality demanded a floor that could also stand up to heavy hospital related traffic such as stretchers, carts and equipment. Kauffman says, “We installed a test area in a busy corridor to see how the Armstrong® Natural Creations Luxury Flooring and adhesive would perform and they passed the test. The facilities staff had tried different, competitive LVT products in this area and they had trouble finding a product that would stay in place. Natural Creations was a good solution because it passed the performance test and looked better than VCT.”
Natural Creations Luxury Flooring truly is a “one-stop shopping” solution offering key product benefits for healthcare facilities. Each tile features surface characteristics and color variations that bring stone and wood’s natural beauty to life. Armstrong protects that aesthetic with a durable, abrasion-resistant wear layer, plus a UV-cured coating that offers low-maintenance options. Natural Creations Luxury Flooring stays put where it’s installed—thanks to Armstrong S-543 High-Moisture Commercial Sheet Flooring & LVT Adhesive. The adhesive may reduce the wait time needed for moisture remediation systems and can stand up to heavy rolling loads.
Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is one of the most popular resilient flooring products in the floor covering industry, and many manufacturers offer designers scores of LVT options, but Kauffman chose Armstrong because of her faith in the company’s products and people. She explains, “I have specified many Armstrong products in the past and had been using this particular product line in several medical clinic settings because of the high traffic, no wax, and great appearance qualities. I have enjoyed working with Armstrong over the years because of their professional sales and technical staff. I can call and get the information I need and know that my sales representative will come to my projects and address any concerns or needs that I have.”
Armstrong has provided award-winning designers like Kauffman with flooring solutions for more than a century. Newer product lines including Natural Creations Luxury Flooring are just as good-looking and trustworthy as our heritage healthcare products including Premium EXCELON VCT tile and ColorArt MEDINTECH Sheet homogeneous sheet flooring.
Kauffman says it is quite a tribute to the small town of Mountain Home to have the vision to purchase the new 3D tomosynthesis equipment, and invest the time and money to construct a space that will have such a long-lasting, positive impact on the women in her community. “Armstrong Natural Creations was so successful in this installation that the hospital installed ArborArt tile in its new mobile mammography unit too,” Kauffman says, adding, “I received a letter from Baxter Regional Medical Center’s CEO, Ron Peterson, congratulating me on the ASID award and saying how pleased the hospital staff is with this project. One patient emailed me to tell me ‘Who would have thought that we would someday look forward to having a mammogram?’ Mission accomplished!”