Jan 14, 2013
by SIMON MATHER CBN Feature Writer
Orion Eye has fulfilled its vision of creating a world-class surgery center and clinic focusing on patient comfort and care with the unveiling of a new state-of-the-art 8,400 square foot facility in Redmond designed to maximize health and wellness.
The building – designed by Steel Associate Architects and constructed by SunWest Builders – seamlessly blends a contemporary lodge feel with a modern twist reflective of the advanced technology employed throughout the practice, which incorporates a fully certified Ambulatory Surgery Center (a “walk-in” or outpatient surgical option which does not necessitate an overnight stay).
The project was the brainchild of Dr. Oli Traustason, a renowned cataract specialist who has chosen to go by “Dr. Oli” to make it easier for patients to remember his name, along with fellow physicians board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Kristine, who specializes in retinal treatment, and optometrist Dr. Ron, who is proficient in the treatment of glaucoma.
The group, which also has a location in Bend, previously went by the name of Eye Surgery Institute, before rebranding as Orion - inspired by the character in Greek mythology who was blinded but regained his sight.
Dr. Oli explained, “The origin of Orion Eye is the story of wanting to provide surgery in a comfortable and safe environment in Central Oregon and provide for the care of patients also through an ongoing working relationship with optometrists.
“Excellence in outcomes in surgery was important, so there has been a constant striving to improve techniques, instrumentation and measurements for implant surgeries through evolving technologies.
“The whole thrust is safety and success in patient outcomes and I think we have created the best environment for that with the new facility.”
A patient-centric philosophy is evident inside and out, starting with the provision of heated sidewalks and a covered “porte-cochere” drop-off, and continuing with a dedicated water feature at the entrance and spacious comfortable lobby setting the tone for a soothing spa-like ambience.
The vaulted lobby has also been set up to convert to a conference and training area, complete with big screen TV and full audio-visual presentation capabilities which can accommodate regular educational seminars held by Dr. Oli keeping fellow exponents in the field abreast of latest developments, and indicative of his lifelong commitment to learning.
The new facility has been sectioned into three different areas to best meet the needs of patients and clinic staff.
On one side of the lobby, the clinic area contains six fully-equipped exam rooms – complete with the latest diagnostic and testing equipment - with nurses’ station, administrative offices for doctors, accounting, scheduling and break/conference rooms, while the other leads into the ASC, housing a state-of-the-art operating room, laser operation room and comfortable pre and post-surgery areas. There is also a dedicated viewing room available for patients’ friends and family.
The group’s Redmond presence was previously in a significantly smaller space on Highland Avenue, where Dr. Oli pioneered his point of view. He recollected, “We opened the first Ambulatory Surgical Center in 1996 for the comfort and safety of patients.
“The environment was more like a home than a hospital. Patients could stay in their regular clothes, sit in comfortable chairs rather than being wheeled around in gurneys, and even have their families come along and watch the surgery if they so desired.
“Safety also came about through expertise in doing surgery by a specialist who spent most of his time focusing on doing mostly cataract surgery, resulting in the shortest possible operating time.”
Dr. Oli added that working with optometrists has been an important part of Orion Eye’s mission since the opening of the original clinic in 1994.
He said, “We see working with optometrists as consistent with our belief that professionals should do what they are best trained to do and what they develop expertise in through years of practice.
“Focusing on an area of expertise is common in today’s complex world and we see this in doctors specializing in certain areas such as neurology, neuro-surgery, orthopedics and so forth.
“What we believe is that in eye care doctors do better by the patient by focusing their professional knowledge and skills in a narrower area of work. Convergence in business is the norm as opposed to divergence. In co-management of cataracts, for example, we believe optometrists are better at providing glasses and contact lenses than most eye surgeons.
“Orion Eye sees its mission as the enhancing, restoring and preserving of vision by specializing. Presently we specialize in cataract, retina and glaucoma treatment, and were the first office in the North West to do retina surgery in an Ambulatory Surgery Center.
“The expanded new facility has allowed space for us to provide the latest available technologies with the best testing and diagnostic capabilities, and the finest surgical microscope around – which in relative terms is like the difference between and on old Trinitron and the latest high definition TV.
“We absolutely believe in quality of examinations and using technology to help in caring for patients and have invested heavily in both equipment and education of staff. We also have totally interconnected exam rooms which offer a wealth of information for patients on their conditions and options, as part of educating patients and families and guiding choices of treatment.
“We are very happy with the way the building turned out. It was a pleasure to work with SunWest and Steele Associates and everyone on the team did a wonderful job.”
SunWest Project Manager Wayne Powderly said “The building really captured that cozy and homey feel that the team aimed for, accentuated by elements such as the water feature, slate entryways and inviting spacious lobby complete with wood trellis and fireplace.
“There was also an emphasis on sustainability, with generous use of recycled materials and energy-saving techniques reflective of best building practices.
“The exam rooms and offices are well laid-out and designed as part of an optimal flow to the interior, and the operating room optimizes surgical environment excellence and comfort while also meeting stringent state requirements.
“All parties had an excellent understanding of the process and were great to work with, and this was really a great collaborative effort.”
Scott Steele, principal of Steele Associates Architects, added, “Dr. Oli wanted to create a very welcoming, cozy, calm, spa-like atmosphere and the internal programming reflected that relaxed, safe atmosphere throughout.
“We worked on a mix of the modern and the robust, including something of a lodge-type feel with a higher ceiling, while incorporating contemporary elements.
“We talked about strong robust materials such as stone and darker hues reflective of Dr. Oli’s Icelandic heritage, combining with a modern architectural interpretation and I think the result was a perfect blend in producing a stellar eye surgery center in an innovative and beautiful building while also meeting the highest standards of safety and hygiene.
“Emily Freed in our office also worked on an excellent complimentary interior design palette to complete the vision.
“Another aim was to get multiple uses out of larger scale space, for example in the doubling of the functionality of lobby for educational purposes, which is also good sustainable practice, as well as to accommodate a heavy emphasis on technologies and scope to house future advancements.
“Our firm very much enjoyed working with this group – they are very tech sound and savvy and obviously very good at what they do, and were very involved from the outset.
“They were also so full of energy and fun and upbeat. All in all, this was a very positive, smooth process involving a wonderful team.
“Everything from the start was about the comfort and safety of experience for the patient.
“This group is very progressive and very concerned for patient welfare, which is reflected in a stellar finished product and an important project for Central Oregon.”
1775 SW Umatilla Ave., Redmond.
Tel. (541) 548-7170.
Orion Eye Center
1775 SW Umatilla Ave. • Redmond
Property Owner/Developer: Geysir Properties LLC
Contractor: SunWest Builders
Project Cost: $1.8 million
Sitework: Start: 2012
Square Footage: 8,400
Amenities: Lobby doubles as continuing education meeting room.
Financing: Columbia Bank
Project Manager: Wayne Powderly
Supervisor: Tim Curry
Architect: Steele Associates Architects
Principal Architect: Scott Steele, Jeff Wellman, Emily Freed, Steve Olson
Structural Engineer: Froelich Consulting Engineers
Civil Engineer: Hickman Williams & Associates
Mechanical Engineer: Interface Engineering
Subcontractors and Suppliers:
Alex Hodge Construction, Inc., 7 Peaks Paving, LLC, Aspen Landscape, Western Protective Coatings, Roger Langeliers Construction Co., Bend Concrete Service Co., Solid Rock Masonry & Const., Baldwin Custom Welding & Designs, Frame to Finish, LLC, Dimar Siding Company, Clowers Carpentry, Inc., Brian’s Cabinets, Quality Truss Co, JB Insulation, McKenzie Waterproofing, Inc., River Roofing Bend, LLC, CHOWN, Bend Commercial Glass, Custom Tint, Solar Light & Energy, J.L.’s Drywall Inc., Premiere Construction Services, Cascade Painting & Design, Inc., Porsche Paper Hanging, John A. Varner Construction, Thomas Kay Textiles, Inc., Johnson Brothers Appliances, Dave Gerhardt Tile, LLC, North Country Building Specialties, LLC, Architectural Specialties, Inc., Northwest Handling Systems, Superior Interiors, Inc., Fireside, Inc., Lee Ramsey Plumbing, Inc., J & R Fire, LLC, Quality Heating, AAKEN Corporation.
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