Hospital on the horizon: Meet the team leading the pavilion project from vision to reality

Pavilion core planning team (L to R): Andrei Duma, Lisa Solomon, Renee Cruse, Karen Amman, Corrie Pennington-Block, Kristyn Acho, Rusty Hudson, Elizabeth Bargo

Approximately a 5-minute read

Key takeaways:

  • We’re two and a half years away from the opening of the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Health Care Pavilion.
  • The pavilion core planning team is at the center of the project, working with key stakeholders to coordinate the design, construction and, eventually, activation of the new hospital.
  • The team recently shared what they are most excited about when it comes to the new facility. 

Now that all 12 floors of the structural framework for the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Health Care Pavilion are in place, the new hospital is literally on the horizon in Ann Arbor, visible from across the main medical campus and parts of the city.

The Kahn Pavilion is scheduled to open in two and a half years. By the time that happens, the hospital will have been nearly 10 years in the making. While the Lean-led Facility Design approach – focused on enhancing quality, eliminating waste and reducing cost – has included ideas and input from hundreds of stakeholders including faculty, staff, learners, patients and families, one group of employees is at the center of it all, leading the project from vision to reality.

Pavilion core planning team

“Combining a growing need for advanced patient care, critical input from stakeholders and a vision for the future into a coordinated plan for the design, construction and activation of a new hospital is no small task,” said T. Anthony Denton, J.D., MHSA, senior vice president and chief environmental, social and governance officer for U-M Health. Denton led the strategic and master plan development of the new hospital and presented the project to the Regents for approval in 2019.

“The pavilion core planning team is at the center of this work, collaborating with team members from U-M Health, U-M Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC), and outside vendors to put the plan together and keep us moving forward toward our vision,” said Denton.

Here’s a closer look at the team – and what they find most exciting about the new hospital:

Karen Amman, R.N., B.S.N., M.H.A.
Operations project director

Amman is the project leader responsible for planning, organizing and activating the operations of the new hospital. In this role, she works closely with all project team members, clinical staff, patients, families and stakeholders to ensure the space is designed to meet organizational needs while also meeting timeline and budget targets.  

Q: What excites you most about the pavilion?

“In addition to all the wonderful things the pavilion will add to patient care, I’m excited about the environment for faculty, staff and learners that not only supports their daily work but also considers their health and well-being. Elements such as access to natural light, views of nature, respite spaces and sleep spaces are all included in the pavilion to support our teams.” 

Corrie Pennington-Block, B.S.E., P.M.P.
Project management lead

Pennington-Block leads the Lean Facility Design effort, engaging with faculty and staff to understand how to best improve on current-state workflows and design the hospital in a way that supports patients, families, faculty, staff and learners. Moving forward, her role will focus on working with stakeholders to develop future-state workflows for programs and services in the pavilion.

Q: What excites you most about the pavilion?

“I am excited about the involvement we have had with the patients and families and how we have designed this building around the principles of ‘form follows function’ to support our teams in delivering the best care possible.”

Rusty Hudson, Assoc. AIA
Construction project engineering lead

Hudson’s primary role is to serve as a liaison between Michigan Medicine and AEC, the design and construction team. He collaborates with key U-M Health project team members to respond to field condition issues during the construction and activation of the building.

Q: What excites you most about the pavilion?

“Besides changing the Ann Arbor skyline, I eagerly anticipate that the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Health Care Pavilion will be a leader in the health care community for sustainability as it pursues LEED Platinum certification, currently the highest possible sustainability rating.”

Renee Cruse, NCIDQ
Interior design planning and development lead

A member of the Michigan Medicine Facilities Planning Department, Cruse is the lead interior designer for the pavilion project. She is responsible for creating a “north star” interior design vision. She collaborates with staff, patients, families and external consultants to identify functional, safe and prudent interior design specifications including interior building finishes, furniture and artwork.

Q: What excites you most about the pavilion?

“I am excited to provide a functional and welcoming space that contributes to the well-being of patients, visitors and team members. We carefully selected finishes, furniture and art so they would be durable, warm and familiar, and the artwork package is being carefully selected to contribute to well-being.”

Lisa Solomon, AICP, LEED AP
Senior project manager, medical equipment

Solomon serves as the operational lead for coordinating the selection, purchasing, installation and deployment of medical equipment for the pavilion. In this role, she manages the project’s third party equipment planners and works closely with end users, Supply Chain Purchasing and Procurement, and Facilities Planning and Design’s Capital Equipment and Finance team. 

Q: What excites you most about the pavilion?

“The incredible teams and advanced technology and equipment within the pavilion will help generate new answers and life-saving treatments for patients.”

Kristyn Acho, MHSA
Senior project manager

As the senior project manager for pavilion operational readiness and planning, Acho leads initiatives focused on preparing clinical and non-clinical departments for the opening of the new facility.

Q: What excites you most about the pavilion?

“I am thrilled to be supporting the pavilion activation efforts and excited to increase access to care for adult patients at Michigan Medicine.”

Andrei Duma, M.B.A.
Adult Hospitals lead strategist

Duma’s role as lead strategist spans both the pavilion activation and strategic planning for backfill of the resulting capacity in University Hospital (UH). He will work closely with the clinical areas moving to the pavilion to ensure their readiness for the move. He is collaborating with a broad set of stakeholders across the institution to identify the most significant opportunities for growth to effectively use the new capacity in UH.

Q: What excites you most about the pavilion?

“The pavilion will expand access to some of our highest complexity care and position Michigan Medicine for continued leadership for many years to come. Additionally, the increased capacity will enable us to meaningfully address some of our biggest challenges to timely and efficient care and enable growth for our clinical services.”

Elizabeth Bargo, B.S.
Administrative specialist

Bargo provides support for the pavilion core planning team, coordinating calendars and scheduling times for the team to meet with departments, programs and services across the organization. She also helps coordinate volunteers for pavilion-related events, like the beam signing and furniture fair events last fall.

Q: What excites you most about the pavilion?

“Working with this team to facilitate the pavilion’s build out for health care innovation at Michigan Medicine inspires me every day.” 

Taking the pavilion from ‘vision to reality’

“We are so grateful for the partnership and contributions of hundreds of individuals and teams who have played – and will continue to play – an important role in planning and preparing for the opening of the Kahn Pavilion,” said Linda Larin, M.B.A., FACHE, chief operating officer for the Adult Hospitals at U-M Health, who oversees the pavilion project.

“The core planning team is at the center of that work, putting it all together and leading us through each phase of this project that will help shape the future of U-M Health and all that we are able to offer patients and families,” Larin said. “They truly are shepherding this project from vision to reality.”

Want to learn even more about the pavilion? Check out the latest edition of The Pavilion Post newsletter!