Both the healthcare industry and the design/construction industry have grown and changed over the past 20 years. And so has Petra! As we pause to celebrate the milestone of our 20-year anniversary, we are reflecting on what we have accomplished over the past two decades, how the professional healthcare and construction landscape in which we work has changed, and what the future holds.

Interestingly, while the worlds of healthcare and construction have changed quite a bit over the past 20 years, what Petra does to serve its clients every day has not. We still approach projects with the fundamental goal of understanding, just as we have since Day 1. To be successful, we need to fully understand each client’s business, organizational dynamics, and goals. It all starts with this deep understanding that is not only the foundation for project success, but also our secret sauce—no one understands projects like we do, because we have walked in our clients’ shoes.

Today we continue to live by our values of teamwork, honesty and excellence and the desire to the do the right thing. Our original concept of bringing together a multi-disciplinary team of people who have collaborative spirit and backgrounds in both healthcare and design/construction has proven to be groundbreaking in changing the way health organizations can conceptualize, assess and predictably implement the evolution of capital-intensive infrastructure assets. This is one of Petra’s key differentiators.

Finally, we are proud and appreciative that many of the original Petra team are still with us from our founding in 1998 through our transition from St. Joseph Health in 2011 to becoming the independent Petra organization. That level of experience and consistency definitely sets us apart and is part of the value we bring to the table today.

Healthcare and Construction Industry Changes

One healthcare and construction trend we have seen increasingly grow is the demand to better solve for the strategic, operational and financial needs, and then push to get more building with less money. Everyone is looking for that silver bullet to do more with less. At Petra, this plays to our strengths, including providing financial predictability, maximizing return on capital, and balancing affordability and alignment.

Over the past 20 years, we have also seen the nationwide trend of more hospitals joining health systems, and those health systems growing, consolidating and merging. Seeking to capitalize on shifting sites of care, creating efficiency, controlling costs, better understanding patient needs, and a creating a stronger brand, among others, it can be difficult to achieve because the disparate and obsolete facility types as well as changing organizational cultures can challenge consensus-building and slow the pace of progress. We continue to work with clients adapting to these changes.

At Petra, we have been excited about construction industry growth, including the rise of alternate project delivery approaches and technology advances like 3D modeling, augmented/virtual reality that bring realistic modeling to visualizing physical spaces and continue to make our work even more predictable and precise.

Our holistic planning as well as our scoping of projects and assigning total project cost early has made Petra unique from our start. We continue to develop, refine, and adapt our skills as the healthcare and construction landscapes continue to change. Additionally, our cost-modeling tools have evolved over time, and we have continued to further expand our capabilities to model and manage project risks with the Monte Carlo risk simulation, an exciting benefit for our clients.

Key Accomplishments

Over the past 20 years, we have worked on more than 1,000 projects valued at more than $3 billion. And we have grown to a team of 40+ experienced professionals.

Though each project is unique and memorable in its own right, there are a few that stand out, including the Covenant Medical Center master plan in Lubbock, Texas, which will create market transformation for years to come, and the Northwest Tower at St. Jude Medical Center, which is an example of bringing together the right partners and developing the right delivery parameters to successfully save costs and shorten schedules. We’re also proud of the work we did at St. Joseph Health, meeting seismic challenges and deadlines for 88 different buildings through a strategic approach. In fact, this was part of what brought us together as a centralized group—and was the beginning of the 20-year legacy of success we’ve now achieved.

What’s Next

Looking ahead, today’s drive for value is only going to continue to grow stronger. Costs are going to rise as fewer people enter the trades, and the laws of supply and demand kick in, impacting our clients’ bottom lines. Pre-fabrication and pre-assembly will mean more things being created offsite and moved onsite, changing the way we design. There’s also an accelerating trend to take services out of the hospital and into an outpatient setting, the home, or even virtual, which will impact hospital revenues. Monetizing obsolete infrastructure and creatively reusing older buildings, while simultaneously finding high-value ambulatory and retail footprints that appeal to consumer needs, will continue to drive Petra forward in the future.

No matter what the future brings, Petra will continue aligning healthcare trends with strategic intent and serving as a strong partner healthcare leaders can rely on to help them adapt to changes in the healthcare and construction industries—to ensure every project meets tomorrow’s healthcare needs.

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