TriHealth Finneytown, Cincinnati

As part of Cincinnati-based TriHealth’s effort to expand its outpatient network, the healthcare organization opened TriHealth Finneytown, an ambulatory and primary care center north of Cincinnati, in summer 2023.

The initial project plan called for a 25,000-square-foot ambulatory care facility, but as the organization assessed its network, services, and needs in the region, that scope grew.

Four separate, smaller practices—family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN)—were at capacity in their existing buildings. TriHealth saw an opportunity to grow these practices, adding physicians and nurse practitioners, by incorporating them into the Finneytown facility.

“This also allowed us to shed four third-party leases and now be in a center that we own,” says Steve Mombach, TriHealth’s senior vice president of ambulatory services and network development.

Architect GBBN prioritizes patient wellness

With the additions, the building plan doubled in size, “closer to 50,000 to 52,000 square feet,” says Ted Huster, principal at GBBN (Cincinnati), the architect on the project.

To ease movement within the building, the project team focused on natural light, transparency, and biophilic elements to guide patients while promoting a sense of wellness.

For example, the two-story facility features entrances at opposite ends—one for the urgent care, which is open 7 days a week, and another for the main entrance, which provides access to medical offices and clinical areas that include pediatrics, OB/GYN, cardiology, neurology, and physical therapy.

The different clinic modules connect with the front spine of the building—a glass-lined corridor running from the lobby, up an open stairwell, and along the second floor.

“The building layout is designed around a patient-centered model, where patients navigate along the perimeter of the building,” says Aaron Anderson, healthcare market design leader at GBBN.

To maximize access to natural light for patients, visitors, and staff, the project team conducted a solar study, resulting in the decision to orient the building so that the front façade faces south with windows appearing as a single wide band. Glass is also strategically utilized at the ends of corridors and in other areas, including a two-story staff breakroom, to bring in natural light and views as well as provide a sense of transparency and place.

For example, Huster says at certain points in the building, staff and patients can stand at a four-way intersection of corridors and have views to the exterior in all directions, allowing them to know the time of the day, weather, and their orientation within the building.

“That was invaluable to team members who for so long had worked in the back of clinics,” where the windows were generally within exam rooms, he says.

TriHealth Finneytown expands biophilic design principles

The project’s biophilic design principles go beyond features such as abundant natural daylight and views of nature to include regional photography and a materials palette that reflects natural hues and textures, such as the use of wood slats to form a faceted “cloud” structure over the reception area in the main lobby.

Additionally, living plant walls, a signature feature of TriHealth facilities, are in waiting areas, including at the elevators, to provide a sense of comfort and calm to patients.

“The architecture itself embodies a seamless transition from the airy and bright exterior to the interior spaces, making for a welcoming statement and leaving a lasting impression upon departure,” Anderson says.

Robert McCune is senior editor of Healthcare Design and can be reached at robert.mccue@emeraldx.com.