St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Earns National Distinction for South Tower


The $135-million south patient tower at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac has been open for just four months, but is already receiving national recognition for improving health care through its design.

The facility became the first U.S. acute-care hospital to receive the 2014 Generative Space Award, presented to national health care organizations whose architectural designs produce breakthrough improvements in health care.

“We didn’t just construct a new building, we created a living, breathing hospital that plays an integral part of our patient’s healing process,” says Jack Weiner, president and CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital. “From the integrated technology, to lights, to art, to the size and shape of patient windows, the design of the new South Patient Tower utilizes proven methods and techniques to further promote positive outcomes for our patients.”

In its physical design, the new tower incorporates the most up-to-date knowledge about healing environments, including the integration of leading-edge technological elements to improve caregiving, decrease risk, and reduce stress on patients and caregivers, Weiner adds.

The tower includes large single-patient rooms, incorporation of natural light throughout the facility, and settings for prayer, meditation, and restoration throughout the building and grounds. 

The facility also creates a de-institutionalized setting with the inclusion of a lobby fireplace; water features; extensive use of curated art in patient rooms and public areas; and special touches such as swan-shaped towels and large flat-screen televisions.

Looking forward, the hospital’s neurosciences unit — one of the last to relocate to the south tower — will relocate in late October.

For more information about the Generative Space Award, presented by the CARITAS Project, click here.