ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In its new downtown Albuquerque headquarters, ABQ Health Partners has all the staples of what one might associate with a startup hub: whiteboard walls, cozy nooks, killer views of the Sandias, plentiful outlets for laptops and a ping-pong table in a game room.
But the multi-specialty medical group’s new corporate headquarters, which houses 200 employees, has gained some amenities that its old location didn’t have: room to grow, a custom-fit interior design, enhanced technology and other services to support its medical staff and growing patient base at 15 clinics in the metro area. ABQ Health Partners merged with Da Vita Medical Group four years ago.
Downtown was an ideal location for the medical group’s adminstrative services because of its acccessibility to outlying clinics.
Clearly, the new workspace has struck a chord with employees who, in the past few weeks, moved into six floors of the existing eight-story building at 303 Roma NW. An open house tonight will unveil the new headquarters to vendors, business partners and dignitaries.
Company Vice President Melissa Steffan would not say how much the project cost due to Da Vita policy on disclosing such information.
“The interior design is pretty remarkable — it has brought some of our teammates to tears,” said Jennifer Deleo, ABQ Health Partners’ marketing and communications manager. “If you’re familiar with where we previously were —the Gibson Medical Center — then you’ll know that a brand-new space, designed specifically for them, is not something they’ve experienced.”
The new headquarters will house the leadership team, revenue/operations, IT personnel and other support staff. The 24/7 switchboard operators aced the nicest location: the eighth floor. They used to occupy a windowless room with low ceilings on Gibson.
“We had been spread over several buildings,” Steffan said.
She said employees had a say on the space. They wanted representations of New Mexico displayed prominently: signed chile ristras in the cantina (aka the employee lunchroom), the Balloon Fiesta boardroom, the Dr. Suess wall and news of activites at other Da Vita medical groups.
Other features of the 60,000-square-foot space include welcoming colors, lots of natural light and environmentally friendly construction materials. General contractor was Klinger Constructors.
“It’s great to be part of the revitalization of downtown,” said Dr. Aric Coffman, president of ABQ Health Partners. The company scoped out a couple possible sites, eventually leasing space from Argus Investment Realty.
“Working in healthcare is tough,” said Coffman. “We wanted the workspace to have features where teammates can eat, enjoy the views and each other.”
Mayor Richard Berry, happy to have 200 new workers downtown to eat and enjoy the central city’s amenities, filmed a welcome video for the teammates.
ABQ Health Partners also is in the process of building its new 80,000-square-foot flagship clinic near the Albuquerque International Sunport. It is slated to open in spring 2017.
Where the Roma Avenue headquarters was designed with its employees in mind, the new clinic is designed for patients, said Steffan.
At that location, Dekker/Perich/Sabatini has designed a floor plan that includes patient hallways, soothing colors in the exam and reception areas and music to improve the patient experience, said an ABQ spokeswoman in an earlier Journal article.