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  Corporate Realty, Design & Management Institute

IFMA Health Care Institute


Educational Credits

IFMA - CFM Points
Engineers - PDH Hours
Summit Program Co-Host


Bill Howden, President of HCI Midwest Chapter


Serving as co-host of this Summit was IFMA HealthCare Institute’s Midwest Chapter, the region’s fastest growing healthcare-related professional association. The HCI Midwest Chapter typically meets bi-monthly.

For more information, contact:

  Bill Howden, CFM
Manager of Facility Planning & Construction, Regions Hospital
Breakfast-Luncheon Host

Industry Partners

  DuPont Building Innovations  
  Mortenson Construction  
  Schneider Electric  
  Specified Technologies Inc  
  ThyssenKrupp Elevator  
Media Partners
Healthcare Design
McMorrow Report
Education Partner

Attendee Feedback

  “Demographics of Healthcare presentation”  
  "Exceptional! Very useful common sense approaches. Picked up solution based challenges"  
  “Great location. Timely topics”  
  “Exposed us to new topics and people”  
  “Market intelligence …size, growth, disruptions”  
  “Nice venue, vendor participation, infrastructure improvements power point was outstanding and very effective, lunch was excellent, the host Alan (Whitson) did a good job, well informed”  
  “Tips, Tricks & Traps to Avoid”  
  “Credible speakers, relevant information, like that we will get a copy of the presentations”  
  “Outside the box thinking - Great stuff”  


    Midwest 2015 - Post Summit Wrap

  April 2, 2015 - Minneapolis, MN


    Sessions Included:

Environment of Care Regulations – Avoiding Compliance Landmines 


     A few takeaways from this session:

  • “We are only allowed to report what we observe, not what we think”

  • Advice for FMs and Compliance officers when the TJC and local regulations are in conflict: “The first rule is always comply with the strictest interpretation if possible”

  • Five new landmines to watch out for: Electric panel schedules, sprinkler lines, cylinder management, power strips, CMS waivers

  -W. Thomas Schipper. Life Safety Code Specialist, The Joint Commission

Tom has been a Joint Commission Life Safety Code Specialist since 2008, and is trained under the Comprehensive Accreditation Manuals for Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals. He is currently the Environment of Care Manager at Little Company of Mary Hospitals in Torrance and San Pedro, California.

His prior work experience includes 28 years as an Environment of Care Specialist for the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. Tom is a Fellow of American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) and a past president of ASHE.


Changing Economics of Healthcare

 A few takeaways from this session:

  • While healthcare spending in the Unites States continues its upward trend, the number of hospitals continues to decline. From 2012 to 2013, 25 hospitals closed and the total number of hospital beds declined by 5,163.

  • Nationwide the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people was 2.52, in Minnesota it is 2.2. By comparison the following states have fewer than 2 beds per 1,000 people: California 1.83, Colorado 1.96, New Mexico 1.83, Oregon 1.72, Utah 1.80, Vermont 1.92, and Washington 1.75

  • Despite the decrease in the number of available hospital beds, the occupancy rate remains low. The occupancy rate per available bed in Minnesota’s 133 hospitals is 56.9%.

  • The PPACA has reduced the costs of uncompensated care for hospital systems. However, the payment to cost ratio is 87.9% for Medicare and 89.9% for Medicaid – straining the financial capacity of many hospitals. In 2013, 30.5% of hospitals lost money providing patient care.

  • Spurned by changing financial pressures hospital M&A activity continues at a rapid pace. From 2012 through 2014, there were 387 transactions involving 718 hospitals. So far 2015 has been an active year with several large transaction announced.

  -B. Alan Whitson, President of Corporate Realty, Design & Management Institute

Alan’s experience encompasses over 40 million square feet of facilities around the world in the roles of Asset Manager, Corporate Facilities Manager, Construction Manager, Development Manager, and Commercial Real Estate Broker. He also is the primary instructor for the “Finance 101 for Healthcare Facility Managers” workshop. He most recently researched and authored Understanding Regulatory Issues in Leasing Medical Office Buildings and Hospital Facilities, the handy guide which brings clarity to the myriad of regulations impacting the healthcare industry’s changing facility models. His articles have appeared in Medical Construction & Design, FacilityCare, and Healthcare Cost Containment, a publication of Healthcare Financial Management Association.


Demographics of Healthcare: Tools for Assessing Real Estate Options & Patient Population Management

       A few takeaways from this session:

  • “Industry needs to shift to consumerized business models. However, 99% of hospitals are not there yet"

  • “Outcomes are the next frontier

  • “Hospitals need to ask themselves: Do you want to be in healthy neighborhoods or unhealthy neighborhoods?”

  • “In healthcare, we’re too irrational. Until we become rational we’re going to see crazy numbers”

  • “Minneapolis area is a younger profile than national community at large”

  • “Growth markets are in suburban periphery of large metropolitan areas”

  • “Urgent care is competitor to primary care. Urgent care operators also don’t want to be near Walmart or Walgreen’s as they’re competitors”


-Tod Fetherling, CEO of Perception Health

  Tod specializes in health analytics. He has held positions as CEO, CPO, VP Business Development, Interactive Marketing, and Research Director for a variety of companies in Healthcare Information Technology and Media. 

Today, he focuses on strategic planning, leadership, healthcare data, community care, physician networks, and geographical information systems. He’s a founder of Stratasan, a firm known for advanced healthcare analytics in the Cloud. Prior to that he was CEO/President of Nashville Technology Council, and a former director of interactive marketing for HCA.

The Healthcare Design/Construction Challenge: Adapting Off Campus Delivery Models to Midwest Real Estate Market Panel 

   A few takeaways from this session:
  • “15 years ago we owned all our facilities. Now it’s all leased space”      

  • “10-15 year leases are attractive.  However, there’s risk factor as it’s hard to predict who your neighbor may be”   

  • Will telemedicine impact square footage needs in the future?: “(Technology such as) Skype will become more prevalent for patients to communicate with specialists (i.e., dermatologists"    

  • Renovating retail space for medical purposes: “Health systems need to engage design and construction experts early to evaluate these type of spaces…experienced architects have quick fit studies to determine what will actually fit into the space.” 


-Len Kaiser, Director of Network Development, HealthEast Care System

-Mike Pedersen, General Manager, Mortenson

-Sarah Torres, Clinic Development Manager, Hennepin County Medical Center

-Dennis Vonasek, Healthcare Principal, HGA


L to R: Alan Whitson (Moderator), Len Kaiser, Sarah Torres, Dennis Vonasek, Mike Pedersen

  Len Kaiser, Director of Network Development, HealthEast Care System – Len has 25 years of experience working with healthcare systems in roles from operations leadership, business development, and healthcare reform.  He has led the development of over 15 ambulatory facilities incorporating lean concepts into the design process.  As a liaison between the user and developers, designers, and contractors he facilitates spaces that create an optimal patient, staff, and provider experience
Mike Pedersen, General Manager, Mortenson - Mike holds more than 25 years of experience in construction and development, and is Mortenson’s healthcare sector leader.  He is responsible for the overall management of customer relationships, business development, design phase planning and construction activities. He has delivered 1.5 billion dollars in healthcare construction during the past 10 years.

Sarah Torres, Clinic Development Manager, Hennepin County Medical Center – Sarah joined the HCMC team in 2007 as the East Lake Clinic Supervisor.  She manages day-to-day operations while leading a number of Lean RPIWs and represented primary care on a number of hospital committees and initiatives.  Sarah operationalized the Be Well Clinic in the Hennepin County Government Center and managed day-to-day operations until she transitioned away from clinic operations in 2012. 
Dennis Vonasek, Healthcare Principal, HGA - Dennis is vice president and principal specializing in healthcare planning and design with HGA Architects and Engineers in Minneapolis. His leadership experience includes managing a long-term transformative process with HealthEast Care System thru multiple outpatient projects over the past 12 years.  Dennis also leads the team that exercised lean methodology within a proposed 180,000 sq. ft. clinic, allowing the square footage to be reduced to 154,000 square feet (210 to 164 exam rooms) at Orange Regional Medical Center’s new medical office building.


Rethinking Healthcare Real Estate Strategies Panel

  A few takeaways from this session:
  • One of trends we see is advance evaluation of lease vs. ownership. You don’t have to own anymore”

  • Many hospitals are consolidating. They need to ask themselves what they’re going to do with excess footprint”

  • “Be flexible. Get the building in the right spot. Build with flexible systems such as moveable walls”

  • “It’s all about preventive care now. Wellness is a huge component of how we operate now”

  • “Telehealth is huge, and will get bigger and bigger. It’s very expensive to send a cardiologist 60 miles to visit a patient. He can treat 5 patients or more in the that time span”

  • Tax saving tip: Meet with the assessor in advance to determine what part of the facility is actually taxable”


-Mark Davis, Principal, The Davis Group

-Edwin Effler III, VP of Development-Healthcare, Ryan Companies

-Mike Melchert, Partner, Melchert Hubert Sjodin, PLLP

-Daniel Swenson, CEO, CentraCare Health Long Prairie









L to R: Daniel Swenson, Mark Davis, Edwin Effler, Mike Melchert

  Mark Davis, Principal, The Davis Group - Mark is considered the foremost expert on medical real estate in the Twin Cities area. With over 25 years of experience and 6 million sq. ft. of medical leasing sales, development, construction and consulting projects, Mark has established himself as the leading medical real estate broker and developer in Minnesota and the upper Midwest. Clients have included individual physicians, multi-specialty medical groups, hospitals, large healthcare organizations and HMO’s. In addition, the firm has represented numerous corporate clients in the sale, purchase, development or leasing of office and industrial facilities.

Edwin Effler III, VP of Development-Healthcare, Ryan Companies - Erwin’s experience spans the real estate investment, development, and management process. Prior to joining Ryan, Erwin led projects for Health Care REIT, Inc. (NYSE: HCN), one of the world’s largest investors in healthcare real estate, and helped senior housing and care operators, health systems, and physician groups nationwide gain strength and market share through strategic real estate acquisitions and development. While there, he also underwrote and managed projects across hundreds of facilities including a $1 billion strategic health system redevelopment.

Mike Melchert, Partner, Melchert Hubert Sjodin, PLLP - Mike is a Minnesota State Bar Association board certified real property specialist. He has nearly 25 years of experience representing businesses (including healthcare providers) in the acquisition, development and sale of real estate. Mike helps his clients with purchase and sale contracts, ground leases, annexations, zoning issues, subdivisions, easements, operating agreements, construction contracts and development agreements. Mike has also worked on hundreds of healthcare related lease transactions

Daniel Swenson, CEO, CentraCare Health Long Prairie - Daniel’s career in healthcare spans more than 15 years. Previously he was CEO of Appleton Area Health Services and CEO of Cooperstown Medical Center. CentraCare Health has a half-dozen hospitals, 17 clinics, senior housing, and nursing homes in its system.