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Hospital Volunteer Chronicles $529-Million Building Expansion at Lankenau Medical Center

IMG_4443WYNNEWOOD, Pa. — One of the largest construction sites in the Philadelphia area — Lankenau Medical Center — is being captured in photos thanks to Joe Henken, one of the hospital’s patients and long-time volunteers.

Henken, who has logged more than 2,100 volunteer hours since he began in 2008, is using his skills behind the lens to document the construction of a 263,682-square-foot, six-story heart and lung center and a recently completed new eight-deck, 1,300-space parking garage. The project, scheduled for completion in June 2013, is designed to improve access, technology, safety and comfort for patients and family at the hospital, which is part of the Main Line Health System. Lankenau hired P. Agnes, a Philadelphia-based building contractor, to deliver the project.

IMG_4445When not volunteering in the hospital’s same-day surgery unit, Henken puts on a hard hat and work boots and with camera in hand, maneuvers through the interiors of the new building and dodges the maze of bulldozers and detours around the exterior of the campus to capture the progress of the construction. For someone who has spent many hours as a patient, one would think he wouldn’t want to see the insides of a hospital again, but not Henken.

“I love volunteering at Lankenau and being able to take these photos is an added bonus,” he said. “My doctors encourage me to stay active and get exercise, and I am surely doing that around here.”

Henken has been an avid photographer since high school and developed his familiarity with construction sites while working as a regional sales manager for an electrical-lighting manufacturer based in Philadelphia. He retired in 2006. He did a lot of photography work for lawyers, but his favorite is scenery. He sells his work under the name Extreme Art by JBHenken.

To date, Henken has taken more than 4,000 photographs of the project. Twelve of his photos are on the walls of the hospital’s administration department and there will be close to 100 when he is finished.

IMG_4374“To have the expansion of our facility chronicled in photographs by one of our own is very special,” said Phil Robinson, president, Lankenau Medical Center. “Mr. Henken is not only a patient and devoted volunteer, but he has offered his photography talents to document this milestone for us and we are very grateful. We are proud to display his work on the walls of our hospital for all employees and visitors to enjoy.”

Lankenau’s construction project represents the largest financial investment underway at Main Line Health. The health system offers a full range of medical, surgical, obstetric, pediatric, psychiatric and emergency services. Forming the core of Main Line Health are four of the region’s most respected acute-care hospitals — Lankenau, Bryn Mawr, Paoli and Riddle — as well as one of the nation’s premier facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital.

The new facility will advance Lankenau’s position as a regional leader in heart, lung and vascular care. Patient rooms will incorporate Evidence-Based Design for enhanced healing, patient safety and workflow and will be equipped with sophisticated technology. The pavilion allows for the accelerated translation of scientific research into clinical medicine, continuing Lankenau’s legacy of pioneering leadership in cardiac care. As part of the integrated approach to improving cardiovascular services, the cardiac cath/EP Suite is also undergoing a complete renovation. This along with the cardiac monitoring room and the renovation of two of its telemetry units creates a comprehensive continuum of care.

As for Henken, he will continue with his project until the final touches to the building are complete.IMG_4461

“This has been so rewarding for me, most importantly because I have so many personal memories of the hospital, its patients and staff,” Henken added. “To see my work on the corridor walls and someday in the hospital’s archives is a real honor. It’s better than any photo assignment I have had.”

Photos by JB Henken


Posted March 13, 2012

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