Case Studies

Good Samaritan Hospital

Engineering Value
COOL HEADS ENGINEER NEW CHILLER INSTALLATION

"Bon Secours Charity Health System is a three-hospital Catholic system that provides acute, cardiac, home health, long-term care, assisted living, and other medical services to over half a million people in a seven-county area of New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. With 351 licensed beds, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center is its largest hospital."

A SENSE OF TEAM

When Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center Chief Operating Officer Gerry Durney started in October 2009, he saw a need for synergy: “One of the things I’ve been engaged in is having the local system really act as a system.” Part of the solution was centralizing support services management for Good Samaritan and its sister hospitals in Port Jervis and Warwick—bringing a sense of consistency and unity. Crothall Healthcare began managing the Facilities department in September 2009, and the transition went smoothly. 

“The Crothall employees and managers aren’t viewed as vendors,” Durney said. “They’re our coworkers. They actually enjoy being part of our team.” 

Good Samaritan’s Operations Manager (now System Director of Facilities) Matt McGuire welcomed the change, too. McGuire had been at Good Samaritan for nearly a decade and transitioned to Crothall. “It was just a good fit for all of us,” McGuire said. 

As they were planning the transition, “Crothall asked me what kept me up at night,” McGuire said, “and it was antiquated chiller equipment. I was dreading a hot summer day when it might go down.” 

PROJECT SERVICES GROUP: COOL RUNNINGS

He had reason to worry. One chiller plant had two 450-ton chillers, each over 30 years old, with a third unit that was almost 18 years old on another floor. They were designed to run in parallel—meaning, if a single unit went offline, it risked overloading the whole system. The chillers had so many breakdowns and were so far past their service life, no company would sign a service contract. 

Fortunately, Crothall has a dedicated Project Services Group (PSG) available to any Crothall director. “We’re an independent, specialized group,” explained Project Manager Jason Curley. 

“They bring the expertise on the energy and infrastructure side,” McGuire said. “It’s a great resource to have at your disposal.” 

SPECIALIZED PROJECT SUPPORT

In July 2010, Crothall started pre-engineering the chiller plant replacement. The PSG team performed a full set of pre-construction tasks: 

  • Electrical load study 
  • Acoustical analysis 
  • Equipment specifications 
  • Engineering designs and drawings 
  • Value engineering 

When contractor bids came in over budget, PSG worked to lower costs. Crothall had provided a maximum price guarantee as a safety net for the hospital, but that didn’t mean cutting corners. “I don’t see them looking at their bottom line,” Durney said. “They’re thinking of our patients first.” 

The new system involved: 

  • Two new high-efficiency, 600-ton chillers 
  • Ancillary equipment, including five new pumps, a 2-cell induced draft cooling tower, and new plant controls 
  • Upgrades to the electrical substation 
  • Redesigned operations to use remaining 600-ton chiller as a backup 

Rigging the equipment into the building required its own engineering design. The 7th floor mechanical room was over 250 feet from the street. The crew built a massive crane and jib to hoist the chillers into place. 

Constructing the crane required coordination between the FAA and local fire, police, and village services. Crane construction and movement of chiller components was slated to run for three days, starting on April 29. Only a few hours into the rigging, they had an emergency patient transport that shut down operations for four hours. The crane was still completed with time to spare—and the patient was safely moved. 

A PLAN COMES TOGETHER

Upgrading the substation required two separate electrical shutdowns—a challenge in any healthcare setting—one for six hours and one for ten hours. These were coordinated with the hospital staff in advance. ”PSG didn’t overlook one detail,” McGuire said. “It was planned to the minute.” 

The chillers were installed and construction was completed by June 15. “The implementation went flawlessly because it was appropriately planned,” said Durney. “It was a piece of art. So many things can be difficult in this business. It’s like the A-Team—I love it when a plan comes together.” 

“ The implementation went flawlessly because it was appropriately planned.” 

- Gerry Durney, Chief Operating Officer Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center 

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE +

The new equipment will return immediate cost savings: 

  • $80,000 per year in electricity savings 
  • $40,000 per year reduction in maintenance costs 
  • $93,000 from a New York State energy grant 
  • The new chiller plant is designed to perform reliably: 
  • New, larger-capacity chillers for N+1 redundancy 
  • First-floor connections for emergency chiller hookups 
  • Improved cooling performance and plant efficiency 

Curley is proud that the temperature complaints dropped from 10 per day (in 2010) to none in 2011. It’s not exactly true that there were no complaints. “The first day, someone called to complain that it was too cold. I almost recorded the message,” McGuire said. “In my 11 years, I had never heard that complaint.”