To mark the opening of the new Taneja Center for Surgery—the largest surgical expansion in Tampa Bay history—we caught up with one the team members who worked on the project, Project Manager Vincent Testa, to talk about how he started working at Jacobs and got involved in healthcare project management.
Tell us a little bit about your background and current role at Jacobs.
I started with Jacobs in 2011, working in project controls in Washington, D.C., and gravitating towards the project management and overall execution of operations. One big capital program I worked on for four years was I Capitol Dome Restoration project.
In 2017 I moved to Tampa, Florida where I helped Advent Health with several building projects, working closely with Randall ‘Buzz’ Summerford and others who were leading the AdventHealth Tampa program—that facility was a $256 million six story surgical bed tower with a new front entry, gift shop, registration area, chapel, auditorium and deli.
I enjoyed seeing how our health group and the Advent Health team handled the different design stages, budgeting, right-sizing and procurements to the final execution of the work when the facility opened this fall of 2021. For details and a preview of the new of the new Taneja Center for Surgery, see our showcase on jacobs.com.
What sparked your interest in a STEAM career?
My dad was an engineer who worked on the railway systems, including CSX Transportation before moving to Washington, D.C., where he worked for the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority. I was always fascinated by the work he was doing and enjoyed the “take your kid to work days” where I got to wear a hard hat and traveled around on a rail car—it was always very entertaining to me growing up.
I also had a fascination when I was a kid building Legos.I remember in our house we had a little kitchenette area where I ‘took over’ that dining room when I was in elementary school; the room covered with Legos where I was building all sorts of cities. I built the Death Star out of all the Legos I had instead of buying the Death Star kit. In high school I was involved in STEAM programs, so when I entered college, I majored in industrial engineering at West Virginia University. I liked the focus on quality management and quality assurance, studying Six Sigma flows and other efficiency processes.
When I was hired by Jacobs, I got my MBA and PE (Principles and Practice of Engineering) license in Industrial Engineering and Systems Management from Marymount University.
What's the difference in construction management for healthcare facilities versus other sectors?
For me, the biggest difference is the medical requirements and the advisory groups in different states that develop the standards for healthcare facilities based on geography and the market. Every state has different regulations and inspections for the planning and construction of healthcare facilities that are much different than commercial buildings.
What's your favorite part of your job?
Getting to interact across multiple markets and breaking down the silos; connecting all the dots to really show our full services for the Health Market. A lot of people don't understand that we have this full spectrum of services—it’s not just design and construction management or commissioning. In our Health Market, we can provide many other services, ranging from real estate and financial assistance, as well as energy planning and alternate design with energy efficiency. Getting all those pieces tied together has been a big pleasure for me to work on. Yes, we have specific people dedicated to design or project management and construction management, but we have several other services that we can bring to the table and extend that relationship with the client.
From your perspective, what does a successful project or program look like?
To me it's more than just client satisfaction – it’s the entire team satisfaction. It's having a cohesive team that’s dedicated to the patient well-being and patient experience. So, at the end of the day, it's less about who is responsible for what and it's more so about the entire team coming together to deliver the overall patient care experience.
What are the key considerations to help drive a successful project or capital program?
At the project level, collaboration is very important, but at the client level, it’s being a true partner, listening to what they are really saying and being there to support them. A great example: What we were dealing with in water issues at AdventHealth Tampa. With lack of flow coming in from the city, we reached out to Jacobs’ water team who was working for the municipality, to have them help evaluate and give details on what was going on so that we understood the situation at the campus. That enabled us to give the client a full spectrum of services and tie the right partners in to help find a solution.
Another consideration is not just delivering for patient care for the present, but delivering for the future. We don’t always know where technology or surgery is going with artificial intelligence and advanced robotics in the future, but we can always plan for the ‘what if’ situation and build in contingencies for future growth. Planning and anticipating those needs and seeing where the markets are going is something Jacobs does well as a large company.
If you aren't working where we most likely find you doing?
Playing with my kids. Any moment that I'm not sitting in front of my desk, I'm out and about with one of the three of them (ages 1, 6 and 7) doing something. They are a lot of fun.
What do you enjoy most about being part of the Jacobs family?
The breadth of experience you're able to get in one company.
You can talk to somebody who has spent one year at the company with 30 years’ experience, and you can talk to somebody that's got 30 years of experience all at Jacobs. I enjoy talking to somebody in Dubai one day: someone in the U.K. the next, and someone in Australia the following day, each with their different areas of expertise—from technology to energy to health. It’s amazing the platform we have at Jacobs, being able to find resources and connectivity within one company.
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