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The mission of Family Healthcare of Hagerstown (FHH), a federally qualified health center, is to offer a “medical home” environment. That means conveniently providing affordable primary, dental, and mental health care at a single facility. Doing that successfully was made much more difficult when the center occupied a less-than-desirable building in a poor location. With an expiring lease looming, FHH purchased an unoccupied 1970s office building nearby, one with better visibility and access. Now the challenge was making the most of that purchase. Though the budget was limited, the demands of the project were considerable:

  1. Bring a vacant, +30-year-old building up to code
  2. Modify a facility built with little forethought to energy efficiency
  3. Confront the existing MEP situation, which ranged from inadequate to obsolete
  4. Design an easy-to-use single check-in area and create a convenient way-finding system
  5. Balance functional interior finishes with attractive design—but avoid extravagance
  6. Design a workplace environment to encourage collaboration and augment recruitment strategies


FHH chose a design-build solution and asked ERDMAN to not only meet a compressed schedule but also take on the unique renovation challenges within the tight budget constraints. To do that, ERDMAN provided services that included the following:

  1. Worked closely with local authorities to meet code requirements as cost-effectively as possible
  2. Upgraded the exterior envelope to make it much more energy efficient
  3. Replaced MEP systems throughout with budget-conscious alternatives
  4. Collaborated with FHH staff and used simulation modeling to design a patient-friendly single check-in area and a convenient color-coded way-finding system
  5. Designed a modern interior with warm, comforting aesthetics that avoid opulence
  6. Created a vibrant, more spacious workplace that includes integrated care team spaces

The FHH renovation project moved from concept to completion in nine months. Today, staff at FHH say it feels like they’re in a new building, not a renovated one. The facility serves as a beacon of care and support in the community, and its success can be seen in an expanding patient population and a satisfied staff invigorated by the improved working conditions.


  1. Location: Hagerstown, MD
  2. 33,048 SF, four-story multi-service facility
  3. Retail pharmacy, laboratory and testing services, integrated family practice and behavioral health, and full dental services
  4. Total Cost: $4,699,120
  5. Completion: July 2015
  6. 17 month schedule from team selection to occupancy



An Evidence-Based Design Approach

ERDMAN’s goal was to create a best-in-class patient-centered medical home model, while overcoming the challenges of rebranding and relocating the organization into a new location in renovated space.