Third Annual Values Recognition Program Award Recipients

The Innovation Institute

The Innovation Institute’s annual Values Recognition Awards Program was created to help recognize and celebrate our core values and the people in our family of companies who exemplify them. Recognition of our fellow employees in the great work they do every day is a critical part of our culture. The three values we embrace are T for Teamwork, H for Honesty & Integrity, and E for Excellence.

The Values Recognition Program Committee is pleased to share the recipients of the third annual Values Recognition Awards. Each recipient was recognized at an awards banquet on February 10, 2016 at the Innovation Lab in Newport Beach, California. Congratulations to the following honorees!

TEAMWORK: Anissa Hall
Southern California Regional Coordinator, TKA

Anissa Hall has been instrumental in the success of the TKA Southern California Regional team. Her colleagues say she provides them with the operational backbone that holds the team together. She effectively coordinates site visits with the cross-functional team that consists of field service specialists, hospital clinical staff, TKA site leadership and TKA staff.

She triages calls and dispatches the appropriate regional field service specialists for service and ensures concise communication with all involved. She always pushes to ensure problems are resolved immediately, resulting in quick access to equipment for clinicians and patients. She can also be relied upon to secure the best and most cost effective parts and service.

As the subject matter expert in TEAM work order and purchase order processing, she regularly visits each site to provide administrative support.

Anissa demonstrates her dedication to teamwork by actively participating in all regularly scheduled meetings for directors, field service specialists, and office coordinators, which has given her a thorough understanding of TKA operations. She has used this knowledge to provide guidance, collaboration, and direction at all levels within TKA.

Anissa’s kind, yet effective demeanor gives her well-deserved respect by those at the customer sites and at The

HONESTY: Jasper Jowers
Project Superintendent, HDC

During a progress meeting, a client questioned a change order on an HDC project. After a few minutes, Jasper Jowers patiently, but firmly, expressed his honest opinion regarding the situation. The client then realized the HDC team was correct and that the change order was necessary.

One afternoon, a colleague of Jasper’s was onsite and witnessed a subcontractor speaking negatively to a day laborer. Immediately upon seeing this, Jasper jumped into action and diffused the situation. He then called a team meeting and informed everyone on the project that there isn’t anyone on the site with a more important responsibility or title than anyone else. He explained he would not tolerate disrespectful talk among workers and that they were all a team working toward a common goal.

Jasper’s attitude during times of conflict has always been exceptional. He strives for integrity by setting an example for others that promotes working together as a team. According to a colleague, he has a great way of looking at the bigger picture and bringing the team back together. Jasper is always professional and exemplifies high ethics and character on a daily basis.

Regional Imaging Specialist, TKA

Bo Zhou came to TKA directly from Siemens, a leader in research, technology and innovation. His expertise in Siemens MRI and CT system has been crucial to the financial and operational success in the Southern California Region. He is dedicated to providing first-class service to all of our customers. His in-depth knowledge in his specialty has given TKA credibility in high-end imaging modalities. His ability to speak MRI and CT language directly with the clinicians and physicians is paramount to the successful resolution of any service event.

Bo consistently shares his expertise and knowledge with others on the team, providing value to TKA and our customers. Recently, Bo traveled to a Northern California TKA account to assist in service. Ironically, he was known by the local clinical staff and was well received, making positive inroads for TKA at the account.

Bo is an excellent communicator who ensures that all parties involved are kept informed of the statusof repairs or service. He serves as a skilled and reliable technician who expertly services MRI and CT systems inhouse, allowing for the most cost effective labor rates for TKA. He always seeks out third party options for service and parts to get the best value possible.In one recent example, he saved TKA approximately $50K by selecting alternate, yet equally effective, vendor parts.

Employee Service Awards


On February 10, 2016, The Innovation Institute recognized employees for their years of service at the Third Annual Values Recognition & Service Awards Celebration, held at the Innovation Lab in Newport Beach. Below is the list of recipients. All have previous years from St. Joseph Health that they were able to transfer over to The Institute.


Petra ICS takes home top awards for St. Jude Medical Center Northwest Tower Project

q3LA PALMA, Calif. — Petra Integrated Construction Strategies has received awards from two different organizations for its work on the St. Jude Medical Center Northwest Tower project in Fullerton, California. The Northwest Tower offers a state-of-the art clinical setting that features 14 leading-edge surgical suites, including a neurological suite, which is the first in California to bring together Intraoperative MRI with today’s best navigation and information capabilities.

On May 14, the design and construction management firm took home the highest honor “Diamond Award” at the Annual International Partnering Institute Awards event held at the San Francisco International Airport Aviation Museum. IPI presents this award to teams who have distinguished themselves through the implementation of high-trust working relationships, IPI’s best practices and who deliver an outstanding project as a result. Nominees are judged on factors such as proof of a high trust culture and capability to efficiently overcome problems.

On May 21, Petra ICS was presented with the Design-Build Institute of America Project of the Year award.q2 DBIA advocates for the advance of single source project delivery within the design and construction community, and focuses its efforts on increasing the successful use of innovative design-build teams on non-residential building, civil infrastructure and process industry projects. The annual DBIA National Design-Build Awards competition highlights successful design-build projects across all sectors.

Through design-build delivery, the Northwest Tower was built at a cost of $225 million and it was completed five months early and more than 40 percent under budget. This was all accomplished while meeting strict hospital, local and state requirements. The design-build team also included general contractor McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and Taylor Design as architect.

Medical Construction & Design Magazine, June 6, 2015

Click here for the article link.

Sharing Joy with Young Patients

Beach Day 2014

Several times each year, the Child Life department at Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach opens its doors to volunteers who want to bring seasonal joy to the patients. In the winter months, past events have included fall festivals and holiday gatherings; in the summer, it’s Beach Day. Originally a held as a single-day event to celebrate the inpatient children at the Hospital, in partnership with the Long Beach Fire Department and countless volunteers, Beach Day was a two-day event this past year. The first day of the event celebrated the inpatient children, with the fire fighters from Long Beach escorting many of the children through the hospital to the event at Houssel’s Forum. On the following day, former NICU and Cardiac patients reunited with the physicians and staff who took care of them during their time at the Hospital. It’s a happy celebration, and a fun experience to watch.

As Petra’s second time participating at Miller, we made beach-themed frames with the participants. The children and their families could pose for a photo with Ariel from the Little Mermaid and then visit our table to adorn a photo frame with flowers, seashells and glitter. A fun and memorable day was had by all.

Speeding up the ED


With a shortage of primary care access and increasing wait times for non-life threatening ailments in the emergency room, Dignity Health has launched an initiative to alleviate the bottleneck. Launched at Dignity’s Northridge Hospital Medical Center last year, patients visiting the ED can opt to make a reservation online and wait from home until their assigned appointment time.

While this initiative provides a clear value to patients – avoiding crowded waiting rooms, as well as the ability to relax in the comfort of one’s own home until the opportunity to meet with a physician – there is also a distinct value to the hospital. As health systems compete for patients and aim to enhance customer satisfaction, the initiative to reduce emergency room wait times is a vital strategy. Furthermore, providing patients with the option to wait from home could also enable customers to evaluate the true degree of their emergency, and will hopefully encourage more people to make appointments with their doctor when an emergency room visit isn’t truly needed.

Some supporters see online ED reservations as a progressive move; however, others argue that it does not address the core issue of rising healthcare costs. Dr. Del Morris, president of the California Academy of Family Physicians, asserts that “patients need to be treated at the right place at the right time,” and enabling consumers to make online emergency room appointments in lieu of scheduling with their doctors is not helping the industry to drive down healthcare costs.

In the short term, online emergency room reservations are enabling hospital staff to better anticipate their visitors, and patients who can afford the time to wait will be able to do so in greater comfort and privacy.


Avoid The Rush! Some ERs Are Taking Appointments by Anna Gorman

Making a Difference at Taller San Jose

The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.

Steven Spielberg


I,  along with several of my colleagues from Petra-ICS, recently had this mentorship opportunity at Taller San Jose.  An innovative program founded in 1995 by Sister Eileen McNerney, a member of the congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange.  Through workshops, Taller San Jose provides the youth within the community a support system that teaches them how to get and keep employment with a living wage.  As volunteers, we were provided information on a company’s history and a job description.  We then played the role of hiring manager and went through mock interviews with the students from Taller San Jose. 

I was able to draw from my professional work experience and provide positive and constructive feedback to each student’s preparedness, resume, interviewing skills, poise, and appearance/attire.  At the end of the mock interviews, all the volunteers and students reconvened for a brief Q&A.  Shortly after we got back into the office, I received the following email from one of the students: 


Dear Mr. Suzuki……..I would like to thank you for working with me on my interviewing skills.  I will remember all of your helpful insight in future interviews.


This brought a smile to my face!  I look forward to the success of the Taller San Jose students and hope to continue as a mentor for them.  


Will Suzuki

Financial Controls Manager at Petra-ICS


The Northwest Tower is here!

Northwest Tower

In project news, Petra will complete the construction of a new 4-story, 200,000 sq ft tower at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton this month. The Project, originally planned to be a $1 Billion construction of the Southeast tower, was considerably reduced in cost through a risk analysis in the pre-design phase. The more efficient solution became known as the Northwest tower. The Tower project utilizes a design/build collaboration closely resembling the structure of an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) process. Petra engaged a project team with a strong history of successful collaborations, thereby creating a culture of trust and genuine teamwork. The synergy in striving toward a common goal enabled the team to achieve greater efficiencies through advanced BIM modeling and careful scope management.

The new tower features 120 patient beds and a total of 14 operating rooms, including one hybrid operating room and one iMRI suite. The hybrid operating room allows for surgery and interventional radiology within the same space. The iMRI, only the second of its kind by Philips-Brainlab in the country, is an intra-operative magnetic resonance imaging device that can be used to scan a patient during surgery. Through the iMRI’s Brainlab software, the position of the patient and the surrounding surgical instruments are tracked in real time. As a result, the patient experiences a reduced risk to potential brain tissue damage during neurosurgery and an overall improved outcome.

As the Project nears completion, it is projected to be finished six months ahead of schedule and 30% under the original Northwest Tower budget. The Project has been selected as a winner in the annual DBIA Design Build Awards, and the award will be received at a reception on May 22nd.
St. Jude Medical Center will open the Northwest Tower in November 2014.

Concrete Innovation

construction hats

Through practices such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), Petra focuses on staying ahead of trends and industry innovation in construction management methods and delivery.

According to Building Design + Technology, new techniques and products are innovating the concrete industry. Among these innovations, three products are changing the pouring, drying and finishing of concrete to increase efficiency in construction.

The ThermaEZE product enhances thermal insulation in poured concrete walls. ThermaEZE, a system of expanded polystyrene foam panels, are placed within the wall before the pour and are held in place by a web structure which then becomes embedded within the concrete. The system includes fastening strips, found on the exposed face of the wall, which allow for an smoother application of drywall and other finishes.

Concrete drying times can be significantly improved using Aridus Rapid Drying Concrete, a ready-mix product which combines fast drying time, high early strength, compressive strength, and low permeability. The Aridus product was instrumental in adapting to schedule changes on a project at Billy Earl Dade Middle School in Dallas in which the 14-month construction phase was revised to ten months. Using the product to cover 120,000 square feet of floors, the significant increase in drying time enabled the final flooring to be installed 21 days after the concrete was poured, compared to the normal minimum duration of four months.

In the area of concrete finishing products, the SUPERCAP System by Laticrete uses a LEED contributing, GREENGUARD certified, low alkali, self-leveling cement-based technology, combined with a computer-controlled mobile blending unit. Recently used at Swedish Hospital and Medical Office Building, Issaquah, Washington, the concrete system “eliminated concerns about flatness inherent to concrete slab work with structural steel buildings,” enabling the construction team to place about 20,000 square feet per day of concrete, compared to the average 15,000 square feet per day achieved through traditional troweling methods.

Building Design + Technology, Breakthroughs in Concrete Technology:

Sleep Hygiene


What defines a good night’s sleep? A new study by Dalia Lorenzo, MD, instructor of neurology in the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Miami Veterans Affairs Hospital, indicates that the timing of our sleep cycles is key to achieving a successful sleep.
According to Lorenzo, a pattern of sleep cycles are experienced in 90-minute increments. During this time of REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep, many necessary functions occur, including brain regeneration and memory consolidation.

To achieve the best sleep and wake up refreshed, Lorenzo recommends to schedule your sleep to include – and not interrupt – multiple 90-minute cycles. For example, a person planning to go to bed at 10:30 pm could plan to wake up at 5:30, 6:00 or 7:30 am in order to avoid disrupting his/her 90-minute sleeping cycles. When your alarm clock forces you to wake up mid-cycle, this interruption causes fatigue that can last the entire day.

Lorenzo refers this promotion of better sleep routines as “sleep hygiene.” In addition to maintaining full sleep cycles, other elements of nighttime rituals can aid in a good night’s sleep. Creating comfortable and familiar sleep environments, providing white noise, avoiding light, and adding scented candles are all proven ways to help promote a peaceful and familiar environment for a restful sleep.

“Good Sleep: Can It Still Be Simple?” at

Welcome to Petra’s Blog!



Welcome to Petra’s blog! The content and posts on Petra’s site aim to share meaningful stories and useful information related to innovations in healthcare, wellness, and the construction industry. We also hope to share some of our own stories related to health, as well as to highlight the great variety of professional backgrounds that we possess. Lastly, we aspire to maintain regular updates on what we’re doing at Petra, as well as the great things that our industry partners are doing, to creatively lead the way in transforming healthcare delivery.

For those of you unfamiliar with Petra, allow us to provide a bit of background. Petra originated from the Design and Construction Department at St. Joseph Health. In January of 2011, Petra became independent, along with its parent company, the Innovation Institute. This action enabled Petra the opportunity to serve other hospitals and health systems while continuing to work with St. Joseph Health.

Petra partners with hospitals to achieve long-term visions to address the trends of the ever-changing healthcare industry, both now and into the future. Petra offers construction management, capital planning, financial controls and risk assessment, and overall owners’ representation for hospitals and health systems.

We are currently at 14 hospital sites, managing everything from construction of projects to facilitating long term strategic plans with the hospitals’ boards and leadership. We engage hospitals and their communities in network assessments, which tell a bigger picture of where their region is heading, providing them with concrete research in order for them to make more informed strategic and financial decisions. In our management of hospitals’ capital expenditures, we provide leadership with the tools needed to assess the risk associated with each proposed initiative.

Our goal, in whichever capacity of work we are providing, is to enable hospital leaders to make informed decisions which enable them to focus on what is most important in their role within the organization.

… and that is Petra. We look forward to contributing great positive change to the growing and dynamic world of healthcare.