Bob Francis Keeps a Close Watch on Jefferson’s New Facility
It is the future of healthcare. It is where high-tech meets compassionate care. It is the Honickman Center, Jefferson’s newest medical facility designed to bring multiple clinical services under one roof to provide an exceptional patient experience. And it is the pride and joy of Bob Francis, director of development for capital projects at Jefferson.
“It’s been really exciting to watch this effort,” says Francis, who has been supporting the project from its beginning in late 2019. He has observed the process from demolition and site excavation through topping off the building in February of 2022 against the backdrop of a worldwide pandemic.
“We are now at the point where the building is being fit out for the medical services that will be inside—all 17 medical services, plus surgery and procedure suites,” Francis says, noting that the building is slated to open in April 2024.
“I’ll feel great relief when it opens,” he says. “It will be a feeling of relief on behalf of all the patients whose logistics of care will be made so much easier. They’ll be able to get their healthcare efficiently, and of course with the quality that only Jefferson can provide.”
While it seems counterintuitive to fill a building with technology while boasting about the individual, compassionate care Jefferson is known for, it really does make sense, says Francis.
“The technological advances we’re using are actually designed to improve the patient experience,” he says. “All the technology removes the barriers between the care provider and the patient. There’s no distracting computer screen, no keyboard—there’s nothing that comes between the care provider and the patient looking each other in the eye and communicating.”
In addition to advanced technology, Francis says the design of the building is unique, too. While very modern in appearance and fabrication, it pays homage to Philadelphia’s storied past.
“The curved glass exterior is created by a manufacturing technique only possible within recent decades, but that allows the appearance of a pleated drape, which pays homage to the city’s textile history.”
One of Francis’ main responsibilities at the Honickman Center is assisting in presenting the most up-to-date information about the state-of-the-art facility to prospective donors in order to help steward the funding of the building.
“Without the generosity of many benefactors, the building would not be possible; and the need is ongoing,” he says. “Continued philanthropy is necessary for the projects that improve lives.”
Individuals who donate to the Honickman Center receive Bob’s Broadcast—an email newsletter that goes out each week. The publication conveys information about the building, the history of the site, the construction progress, and the medical services offered in a succinct format.