Benefis and Nelson Architects Break Ground on Emergency Department Expansion


Our firm took part in the groundbreaking ceremony for Benefis Health System’s Emergency Department & Trauma Center. Ryan Smith, Managing Partner of Nelson Architects and Shannon Hoiland, Chair of Benefis Health System Foundation are featured in the cover photo. We’re proud to be part of this project and look forward to working with the Benefis team to make it happen. Visit our portfolio to learn more about this project at

As Featured on 3KRTV on June 12, 2017

Benefis Health System broke ground on its Emergency Department expansion in Great Falls on Monday.

The current Emergency Department was built nearly 20 years ago and designed to care for 24,000 patients annually. Benefis now sees more than 34,000 emergency patients each year.

The project will add 15 rooms to the Emergency Department, bringing the total number to 33. Those rooms will be larger, allowing the hospital to accommodate more visitors to emergency patients.

“We’re already seeing well over the intended capacity and on top of that the complexity and acuity of the patients we’re seeing is rising as well. So we’re admitting a lot more of what we’re seeing,” said Bridget Brennan, Benefis Emergency Services Medical Director.

Benefis says the new design will be more efficient and patient-friendly and improve wait times. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2018.

Officials say patient care and technology are at the center of the design. Ten to 12 additional larger exam rooms will be added to accommodate families and technology. A garage for ambulances will be added to drop patients off so they aren’t affected by weather, a mass decontamination area, and surgery capable trauma bays will also be included in the designs.

“We also want to optimize what we get for the future to make sure we are investing our money wisely. We’re going to be building an emergency department that will have to stand for many years so we want to make it the best decision possible,” said Kevin Langkiet, Benefis Director for Emergency Services.

The plans are still being finalized. Construction is expected to start in early 2017 and should take about 18 months to complete.