The Nancy Ausonio Mammography Center Design Transforms Patient Experience

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Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System and Wald, Ruhnke & Dost Architects team to create spa-like environment for new mammography facility

Because even routine check-ups at mammography centers can generate anxiety and concern, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System and Wald, Ruhnke & Dost Architects were determined to create a facility that was calming yet very efficient for the medical professionals working in it. Their vision translated into a spa-like environment that nurtures patients as well as their families, and forms the backdrop for top care in the field.

Opening this June, The Nancy Ausonio Mammography Center sets a new standard in medical office interiors by surrounding patients with natural light and a private garden, an indoor water feature, soft upholstered furnishings, relaxing wall colors, and fresh flowers. A juice bar serves families and patients alike. The walls leading to the medical service rooms and offices are designed with gentle curvilinear lines to soften the feel of the hallways, which also feature recessed lighting. All in all, these design elements reflect a high degree of sensitivity to patients’ needs in a potentially stressful environment, and take the standard of care offered in medical offices to the next level.

“Our priority is quality patient care, and this facility helps deliver that with the latest digital technology and extraordinary surroundings,” said Sam Downing, MBA, MPH, President/CEO of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. “Our vision for this Center was expertly carried out by Wald, Ruhnke & Dost Architects, and our patients will benefit for years to come.”

These beautiful surroundings enclose a state-of-the-art medical facility that incorporates leading technology such as digital imaging, a stereotactic room featuring computer-guided biopsy procedure capabilities, and ultrasound technology. Additional services include a DEXA scan which measures bone density and assists in monitoring osteoporosis and related therapies.

“In healthcare environments, people come first,” said Henry Ruhnke, a principal with Wald, Ruhnke & Dost Architects. “Our design process was driven by our strong commitment to creating a soothing yet highly functional medical facility. We’re proud to support Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System as they continue to raise the bar across their broad range of services.”

About WR&D
Wald, Ruhnke & Dost Architects, LLP is a full-service architectural firm with an extensive portfolio of commercial, healthcare, education, public works, residential, construction management, and commercial interior design projects developed over more than 45 years. Our creativity, design experience, service and client referrals have made us one of the largest firms on the Central Coast, with offices in Monterey and Santa Cruz. For more information, visit

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Kelley Carpenter
kelley_carpenter (at) wrdarch (dot) com


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