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 Published monthly for CC employees by Clinical Center Communications
May 1997

Parking plan makes the most of what's here

Who's parking where and why are they doing it?

The man who built Washington and the Clinical Center,too

 From the director


News briefs

Grand rounds









Work to begin out back for new CC front door

When work begins July 1 to make the CC's back door the front, consider the Clinical Research Center project officially under way.

"This is the first big step," notes David Esch, architect with Zimmer, Gunsul, Frasca Partnership, design firm for the new complex that will cover the entire north face of building 10 once it's complete early next century.

A new glass-fronted lobby to be constructed in front of Masur Auditorium will feature built-in information and security booths and a waiting area with ample seating. A new lobby stairway will go to B1. Visitors and staff will walk into the lobby through a larger-than-life revolving vestibule.

A cantilevered roof and canopy will shelter four traffic lanes, three for driving through and dropping off; one for campus shuttles. An existing service road provides a general path for the new driveway, which will be lined to the south with new trees.

The road will be extended to loop back down the hill and lead out along the western outer edge of parking lot 10 H. "This made the most sense of all the options considered," Esch explained. "We'll be making use of existing resources while trying to save every single parking space we can."

Two main corridors leading from the new lobby to the building's core are planned to the east and west sides of Masur Auditorium.

That H-shaped pattern lays the groundwork for straight-shot passage from the south entrance to the new CRC, similar to the way it used to be.

"The original Clinical Center building featured a very rational layout," said Esch, characterizing the current layout as "circuitous."

Once the CRC is complete, the new south entrance will become the building's primary pedestrian access, which dovetails nicely with the NIH master plan, Esch pointed out.

"The idea is that the CC will form the north face of an almost academic quadrangle," he explained, "so the temporary-entrance project becomes a permanent amenity for the campus as a whole, not a throw-away."

After CRC construction is complete, the south drive will be for pedestrian and emergency vehicle use only and the canopy will come down. (by Sara Byars)

in this issue

Parking plan makes the most of what's here

Hoping to keep the parking squeeze from becoming a stranglehold, NIH officials are putting into place a sweeping plan to deal with a drastically dwindling supply of parking places for visitors and staff.

"We have to cope with the loss of spaces to new construction while finding ways to more efficiently manage the spaces we have," explained Stella Serras-Fiotes, master planner in the Division of Engineering Services facilities planning and programming branch, a part of the NIH Office of Research Services.

"We lost 450 parking spaces last year, and will have to deal with the loss of close to 1,000 spaces this year." In 1998, NIH will probably lose 500-700 more.

Serras-Fiotes outlined the plan of attack at a CC Operations and Planning Committee meeting last month. It calls for managed, attendant-assisted "stacked" parking for some employee and visitor lots; parking fees for visitors, except those parking in the CC's P3; new campus parking meters; temporary lots; and moving parking for construction workers off campus.

Some specifics as currently planned include:

--Temporary lots will add about 400 spaces to the parking inventory, primarily to offset parking losses associated with building 50 construction on the site of parking lot 13C.

The temporary lots should be open by early July in these locations: south of lots 41 A, B, and C; in front of the Cloister; near Natcher; by the electrical power station at building 17; and at NLM.

--Visitor parking will be consolidated and expanded to include 1,200 spaces. Paid parking for visitors is planned to begin Aug. 4 for the top two and a half levels of MLP-8; a section of lot 4A; and a new lot that's now location of a construction trailer near Natcher. Parking meters-120 of them-will go in near buildings 13, 36, 38, 31, and Natcher.

NIH received permission from GSA to collect the fees, which will help pay for the contract to provide attended parking services campus wide, Serras-Fiotes explained. The rate is expected to be $2 an hour for the first three hours and $12 a day.

Some existing visitor spaces will be converted to employee parking in exchange for employee spaces lost in new stacked parking areas, Serras-Fiotes pointed out.

--The lower four and a half levels of MLP-8 will be converted to attendant-assisted parking for NIH employees. This is also expected to begin Aug. 4.

--Also beginning in August, construction contractors will have to park at satellite parking facilities and will have a dedicated shuttle service.

--Stacked parking will begin in the fall for employees leaving cars in lots 31 B, C, D, F, and G. Once all spaces in those lots are full, attendants will direct drivers to the aisles. Keys stay in the cars and will be secured by the attendants. When it's time to leave, the attendants will move any blocking cars.

"This will add capacity for more than 330 additional cars, primarily to offset parking losses associated with the Clinical Research Center construction and relocation of Center Drive," she said.

The parking crunch hit the CC hard when crucial repairs to its parking garages began last November. That work will continue to absorb about 400 parking spaces for the next three years.

In January, a contract was let to provide attendant-assisted parking, primarily for patients, on P3. Another early intervention was converting a motor pool lot between the CC and building 1 to general parking, opening up 40 spaces near the building. "Future plans include enhanced managed operations of all parking and transportation resources on campus," Serras-Fiotes said. (by Sara Byars)

in this issue

 Who's parking where and why are they doing it?

Who's parking where on a typical day? That's what the Division of Engineering Services wanted to know as they prepared the NIH campus parking management plan.

So they counted and categorized all the parking places and the cars parked in them between 10 a.m. and noon on a recent Wednesday, explained Stella Serras-Fiotes, master planner in the DES facilities planning and programming branch.

The survey revealed that, yep, the 8,700 employee spaces were packed, as were the 900 spots for visitors. All told, employee stickers were on 8,000 parked cars. Another 1,500 cars sported either service stickers or no stickers at all.

Surveyors counted 400 unstickered cars in the employee lots and 200 cars with employee stickers in the visitor lots. The tally included another 200 employees and visitors who had obviously given up and parked on the grass.

Only 350 cars in the 900 carpool spots actually sported carpool stickers. (Most of the carpool lots open to regular employee parking after 9:30 a.m.) The 1,000 spaces for cars with red stickers had 685 red-stickered cars in them. Two hundred and twenty cars with service stickers-there are 37 spaces designated for those parkers-were counted.

About 15,800 employees and countless visitors vie for these parking places daily. Federal rules say that staff are entitled to half a parking space each. Ideally, Serras-Fiotes pointed out, 10 percent of the parking spaces should be empty at any given time. At NIH, it's less than four percent.

in this issue

He built Washington and the Clinical Center, too

John McShain (1898-1989), a Philadelphian, spent most of his life building Washington, starting with the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, which was completed in 1938. His largest project was the Pentagon. More than 15,000 people worked round-the-clock for 16 months on the 16 million square-foot structure. (Hagley Museum and Library photo.)

He built the Jefferson Memorial, the Pentagon, the Kennedy Center. He gutted the interior of White House when Truman lived there and put it back together with a internal spine of steel.

He dug out the tunnels for the Pennsylvania Turnpike and pioneered the use of pre-cast concrete-the HUD building was the first federal structure so constructed. The Washington Post building, the State Department, the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The bricks and mortar were his, prompting one journalist to write more than 40 years ago that L'Enfant may have planned the city, but John McShain built it.

He also built the original Clinical Center, which is about to undergo expansion that will change its external face forever. McShain's $16,814,200 bid to construct the hospital's superstructure was the winning one. Work began on Jan. 4, 1950.

Bad weather, material delivery delays, and strikes conspired to produce delay after delay and the CC's first director, Dr. Jack Masur, seemed not amused. He told construction chiefs at one point that the hospital would be "the major hospital center in the country or in the world. There are 17 million square feet in this job and 17 million details," none of which would prevent completion.

An exhibit covering McShain's career was at the National Building Museum earlier this year. "The Man Who Built Washington" is a traveling exhibition organized by the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Del., whose mission is to preserve and interpret the history of business in our country. McShain's papers are housed there.

Washington builder John McShain (left) was a Republican, but Democratic presidents gave him the most business. A hospital at NIH, which McShain would ultimately build, headed a post-war wish list compiled by the PHS in 1944. Congress had other plans for President Franklin D. Roosevelt's (right) domestic budget. In the meantime, McShain built the Roosevelt library. (Hagley Museum and Library photo.)

The Jefferson Memorial, another McShain project, was under construction in 1941. He once said of his work on such structures, "I'd rather break even on a monumental building than make a million on an uninspired warehouse." (Hagley Museum and Library photo.)



in this issue

President Truman helped ceremoniously push the Clinical Center cornerstone into place on June 22, 1951. Behind Truman are NIH Director William H. Sebrell, McShain, and Surgeon General Leonard A. Scheele. Doors wouldn't open to patients for another two years when Eisenhower was in office. Eleven years earlier, McShain had joined yet another president-President Roosevelt-in placing the cornerstone for another project, the U.S. Naval Hospital across the street from NIH. Editor's note: Do you know where the Clinical Center's cornerstone is? It was removed on June 14, 1977, when workers on the ACRF addition took it intact from the original front wall and it hasn't been seen since. If you have any information, call CCNews at 496-2563.

After a piano fell through a White House floor in 1948, officials admitted an extensive rehabilitation was needed. It fell to McShain to do the work, which included gutting the building core and replacing it with a steel framework. Above is McShain with members of the Commission on the Renovation of the Executive Mansion. (Hagley Museum and Library photo.)


 From the director:

by Dr. John I. Gallin, CC director

On its last visit to the Clinical Center, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Heathcare Organizations--known as JCAHO or the Joint Commission- -awarded a three-year accreditation to our hospital.

Our 1994 accreditation came after a four-person survey team of health professionals spent three days scrutinizing our policies and procedures, visiting patient-care units, and talking with employees from all areas of the Clinical Center. That's what will happen again this year.

Why do we seek this accreditation? Because the process offers us a way to evaluate objectively how well we do our jobs. More than 15,000 other health-care organizations across the country seek accreditation for the same basic reason and-in the public's mind-accreditation by the Joint Commission represents quality service in health care.

But there's more to it. Preparing for a Joint Commission visit offers us an opportunity to recognize and showcase how we provide quality patient care in a truly unique environment with a distinct clinical research mission.

The Clinical Center's JCAHO Work Group, a multidisciplinary team from across the Clinical Center and the institutes, has been pulled together to coordinate efforts in preparation for the accreditation visit. The work group's web site on the Clinical Center's home page will explore important topics associated with the accreditation visit and help keep all of you informed about process.

What always is apparent to and commented on by the Joint Commission survey teams is how committed you, CC staff, are to our patients and our NIH mission. How we work together to provide this care is what the accreditation team will evaluate. And when it comes to taking care of patients, no one does it better than we do.

in this issue


 Successful organizations demonstrate a simple truth--there's strength in the collective expertise and experience of its individual members.

A recent series of seminars for Clinical Center employees examined how to harness individual differences in order to make the whole richer. And it takes more than technical job smarts to get there.

Technical competency is absolutely necessary for success, pointed out lecturer Bette George. But so is interpersonal competency, being what she called "people" competent.

And that was the point of the class-learning how to recognize, relate to, and learn from each individual's unique perspective.

"Diversity simply means difference," explained Dr. Jeffery Johnson. "It does not mean good, better, or best. It means different. Each of us bring different experiences to any interaction that we have."

The instructors--both experts in organizational development--pointed out that diversity in an organization:

  • Offers different ways of looking at problems and solving them.
  • Brings flexibility and openness to new ideas.
  • Stimulates creativity and innovation.
  • Encourages the anticipation and appreciation of others' needs. And,
  • Makes teams stronger.

And it all can happen when each individual is valued for what he or she can contribute. (by Sara Byars)

in this issue

news briefs:

Donors honored

The NIH Blood Donor Center will honor those who give blood with a barbecue and cremony set for 11:30 a.m. on May 23. The event will be in the glade behind the Children's Inn. Call 496-1048 for more information and directions.

PEF auction

Place your bid at the annual Patient Emergency Fund Auction on June 3 in the Visitor Information Center between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Choose from silent auction items for fine dining, great escape weekends, and tickets to popular games and shows. Or check out the theme baskets donated by CC departments and packed with goodies. Also on tap will be the collectibles corner featuring jewelry sales, baked goods, and lunch.

Last year's auction raised more than $8,000 for patients and their families facing times of crisis. Call Karen at 496-6061 for more information.

Child care seminar

The NIH Day Care Oversight Board will sponsor a brown bag lunch seminar, "The Relation Between Family, Child Care, and Child Development-Implications for Families and for Policy," on May 15, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in building 1, Wilson Hall.

Dr. Sarah Friedman, scientific coordinator for NICHD's study of early child care, will talk about findings pertaining to cognitive and language development and mother-child interaction during the first three years of life.

Preregistration is not required and the seminar is free. For details, call Gladys Bohler at 496-9231, or email

CC visitors

Dr. Barbara Sonies, chief of the Rehabilitation Medicine Department's speech pathology section, demonstrated the untrasound for visitors to the CC speech-language pathology lab as part of the NIH Take Your Child to Work Day events April 24. Clinical Center departments offered hands-on activities, tours, and presentations throughout the day.

New name

The office formerly known as building services is now the Office of Facility Management. They're still located in room 4A13. Jim Wilson is chief of the office, which provides technical guidance, administrative support, and coordination of design and construction for the facility.

Thrift line

Questions about Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) funds? Want to know your monthly TSP balance? Status of a loan request? Want to change or cancel an interfund transfer? It's all at your fingertips thanks to the Thriftline, an interactive voice-response system.

To access the system, you'll need your Social Security and personal identification numbers. Lost that ID number? Use Thriftline to request another. It'll be sent to the address in your TSP record.

For all this, call (504) 255-8777.

Training vouchers

The education and training section, Office of Human Resources Management, has purchased vouchers from CompUSA for CC employees to use for computer training at no cost to their department's training budget.

CompUSA offers a variety of Mac, PC, and internet courses at training sites in Maryland and Virginia.

On-site courses (Mac only) will offer fundamental and intermediate training in MSWord, Excel, and Powerpoint during May and June at 6100 Executive Boulevard. Call 496-1618 for details. Vouchers must be used by June 26.

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Clinical Center News, Building 10, Room 1C255, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892. (301) 496-2563. Fax: 402-2984. Published monthly for CC employees by the Office of Clinical Center Communications, Colleen Henrichsen, chief. News, articles ideas, calendar events, letters, and photographs are welcome. Deadline for submission is the second Monday of each month. Editor: Sara Byars, Staff Writers: Laura Bradbard, Sue Kendall.

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This page last reviewed on 09/9/09

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