Epic Consultants
Growth and Collaboration in Healthcare Construction

Growth and Collaboration in Healthcare Construction

The design and construction of healthcare facilities are complex undertakings. They incorporate advanced technology and innovation into the careful balance of the functional needs of the operation, and the comfort and convenience of patients and visitors. Healthcare facilities must be functional, efficient, and easy to navigate, and they should also be welcoming and calming to reduce stress and anxiety for patients, but, above all, they must provide health and safety. To guarantee this, healthcare construction meets strict regulations and standards to ensure the safety and well-being of patients and staff.

Health care construction is a very specialized industry and there are not too many contractors with the qualifications to serve in the industry. According to Amber Lawhorn, Director of Supplier Diversity and Small Business Enterprise Program at Jackson Health, “the biggest challenge that owners face in healthcare construction is contractor expertise. There are a lot of people who want to work for a healthcare organization, but it is a very regulated industry. Contractors believe that their experience in schools and other structures can transfer to hospitals, but it is a very different thing.”

EPIC has the privilege to be working with Jackson Health System, one of the nation’s largest public health systems, for the past 6 years. In 2013, JHS launched its capital plan that included new construction projects, the renovation of all existing facilities, technology upgrades, cutting-edge equipment, and infrastructure improvements. This “Jackson Miracle-Building Bond Program” came to transform Jackson into a modernized, patient-centered healthcare system that can better meet the future needs of Miami-Dade County residents and patients from around the world who travel to Jackson because of its medical expertise.

EPIC started as a subcontractor working under Turner Construction and later became a prime in several projects at Jackson South and Jackson Memorial Hospital. Through the years, EPIC was contracted to perform interior/exterior metal framing, drywall, wall insulation, stucco and EFS systems, modernization, and renovation. Projects involved erection and maintenance of ICRA walls, careful training and supervision of all workers and superior scheduling, planning and coordination. “There must be flawless communication and coordination between all parties”, says David Moran from EPIC Consultants. “It is not easy for the construction management team to coordinate the requirements of the projects with the complex demands of the operations of both the owner and its tenants.” EPIC understands this well and relies on its lean construction expertise to provide the planning, flexibility, and coordination necessary.

During the development of the new Jackson West Medical Center, a state-of-the-art campus in the City of Doral,  under the construction management of Yates Construction, EPIC took growing significance throughout the project. Amber mentioned that “EPIC was so heavily involved, it became a situation where EPIC was carrying project knowledge, and that was vital when there was turnover in the construction team or Jackson’s staff. EPIC helped guarantee project continuity and maintained consistent job performance despite all changes taking place.” It was indeed a major project, faced with many changes and uncertainties, and a pandemic was added to the mix.

Projects of this magnitude add another layer of opportunity and responsibility: large teams. You must know how to work collaboratively with other stakeholders and problem-solve in the face of inevitable adversities. “We hadn’t opened a new hospital in 100 years”, said Jorge Garciga, Director of Facilities Design and Construction at Jackson Health System, “this was a brand-new undertaking for everyone, and it required great collaboration. I thank EPIC for working together with us and the contractor Yates in the Lean meetings. The pull-plan meetings with all the trade partners really helped the team come together. It was a learning curve, but it facilitated the scheduling and collaboration a lot.” Furthermore, “EPIC was always willing to collaborate with the other trade partners to find solutions to the issues that we came across on site. It was a difficult project, so I’m thankful to EPIC for their willingness to work together, to look at the big picture and help us get this project opened to serve our community.”

With all the complexities involved, owners must, above all, count on the commitment and responsibility of contractors. When asked what sets EPIC apart, Jorge says, “I can pick up the phone and call David. I can go directly to the owner and talk about any issues we may have or any growth opportunities, and they have always been there to listen to us. You guys are really looking after our needs and really trying to work with us.” “In a lot of small businesses,” Amber adds, “the owner is doing the work themselves, so they don’t have time to build relationships and problem solve with the customer. EPIC has the great advantage of offering a business development team to support the technical team in the field and provide the customer with immediate attention and resolution when issues arise.”

The design and construction of healthcare facilities are indeed complex undertakings which we can only attempt to touch upon in one article. EPIC’s expertise in Lean Construction and commitment to working in a partnership translate to a differentiated ability to manage challenges, identify creative solutions, and deliver results. Yet, guaranteeing the facilities are constantly up to date, while securing a safe space where patients and their loved ones can receive the care they need, requires another level of expertise and sensibility from owners and contractors alike. “With lives at stake, we must make sure they are safe and protected while work is being done”, said David. But that, we will unfold on a future article covering the challenges in projects involving repair, renovation, and alteration of occupied medical facilities.

EPIC Consultants Announces:  ISO Integrated Management System

EPIC Consultants Announces: ISO Integrated Management System

Consistent to its commitment to continuous improvement, EPIC takes a leap towards Certification of its Integrated Management System.

 

When you consider a company to work with, you think about what it can offer you and what benefits it can bring to your organization. There are several criteria to evaluate, but an established system to ensure the right processes and procedures are being followed is well worth considering. It guarantees the quality and consistency of the work, bringing you, as a customer, great peace of mind.

 

Pursuing an ISO Management System certification brings major benefits to the company as well as significant assurances to its customers regarding quality, safety, efficiency, environmental responsibility, and disaster recovery.

 

Nonetheless, as in the old saying, “The Cobbler’s Children Have No Shoes”, EPIC Consultants has also fallen ill of the “Cobbler’s Children Syndrome”.  Just as the cobbler, through the years, we found ourselves so involved in providing the best service for our customers that we neglected applying our best solutions and resources internally. “My first engagement with EPIC, 2 years ago, was as a consultant helping the implementation of a Quality Management system at a healthcare center.  Being a field consultant, I had no involvement with EPIC’s internal management.  I was, however, a witness of the quality of the work being provided to customers and the incredible results being delivered.  It was a surprise when I joined the day-to-day operations to find out the company did not have a fully implemented system itself.” – shared Adriana Abbade, currently EPIC’s Head of Marketing and Business Development.
EPIC Consultants has been implementing ISO and other management systems for over 15 years, but it took a defining moment as the Covid pandemic for it to take a good look inwards and decide to fully implement the ISO Integrated Management Systems (Quality, Health and Safety and Environment -9001, 45000 and 14000) as well as the ISO Business Continuity System (22301).  “The main reason why we didn’t implement it earlier was the size of the company.” Says Johnny Rojas EPIC’s VP of Operations and Head of Consulting. “When you have a small company with a few people and small projects, you have an informal management system, and that works.  The real need arises when the company begins to grow, and the situation becomes more complex.”
However, despite the significant growth through the years and the multi-million-dollar projects undertaken, “EPIC could not find the right time and availability of resources to sit down, create, generate, validate, and verify all our processes.  That was our biggest challenge and why we kept pushing it back.  Still, to continue our growth, there is a need to change from a gut feeling decision-making process to a more system-driven process”, added Johnny.
Before, most of our customers would rely on their own previous experience with us or the recommendation of someone they knew and trusted as a guarantee.  That worked fine for the 15 years of mostly repeated business (85% of our customers have been working with us for over 10 years). However, as we expand to new markets, new customers, especially governmental ones, need more security than that.  This is what the ISO Certification brings to the table.  Once a company is ISO Certified, the customer has access to detailed information on how the company works and has the assurance brought by an external, independent audit and endorsement of the company’s commitment to quality, environment, business continuity and the health and safety of all its stakeholders.  And this brings huge reduction of risks and increased satisfaction to customers.
Marco Pardave, a senior ISO consultant and lead auditor, who sits in one of the ISO international committees that write the ISO standards and has worked with EPIC through the implementation process, comments that “the main benefit to the customer is the transparency of the processes and procedures. It becomes a completely seamless operation, consistently giving them information about the status of the project and reliability of its service. This generates confidence that deliveries are on time, with good quality performance, within the project requirements, and according to the highest quality, environmental, safety and business continuity standards.”
“EPIC has high potential for growth by entering the federal market and expanding its presence. Our implementation of ISO makes this growth even more solid and sustainable.” Says David Moran, EPIC’s Principal and Head of Construction. “With ISO, we become even more organized, with a framework that allows employees to focus their responsibility and know exactly what and when they must deliver. In turn, it enables us to continuously improve our agility and performance in KPIs such as time, cost, environmental footprint, and safety.”
Read more about EPIC’s change management strategy at our article Major Investment in Human and Process Capital.
EPIC Consultants Announces:  Simplified Acquisition Opportunities

EPIC Consultants Announces: Simplified Acquisition Opportunities

Secure professional development opportunities under the Simplified Acquisition Thresholds.

MIAMI, FL –   As the year-end approaches, EPIC Consultants announces new opportunities for the procurement of its services under the Simplified Acquisition Procedures.  This offers a streamlined access to Professional Development programs, under 25K.  Trainings are certified by Florida International University and are customizable to include subjects such as:

  • Lean
  • Six Sigma
  • Agile
  • Supply Chain Management
  • ISO Management
  • Project Management and Leadership
  • Team Facilitation

>>  Special offering for Lean 6 Sigma Green Belt Certification!

EPIC Consultants, an 8(a) Small Business company based in Florida, has been offering these programs to the private sector for over 15 years in partnership with Florida International University.  The highly skilled and experienced instructors bring practical knowledge on how to implement the subjects in your specific organization to effectively achieve:  increased efficiency and quality, enhanced customer satisfaction, lower costs, reduced wastes, effective and engaged teams, and more.  According to, Javier Mesa, Senior Executive at GHT Corp, “EPIC provided us the guidance and the know-how to elevate our game.  If you’re serious about making an improvement in your business processes, EPIC Consultants is a great asset!”

“Typically, a single Lean Six Sigma project brings returns around 3 – 5 X the investment.” Says Alfredo Moran Hassan, EPIC Consultants’ Chief Operations Officer, and Lead Instructor.  “However, organizations that promote a cultural transformation through a systemic company-wide professional development program often see results that are way beyond that and are sustained through the years.”

Learn more about our Professional Development programs or Contact Us to request a free customized plan for your team.

 

EPIC Consultants Announces Major Investment in Human and Process Capital.

EPIC Consultants Announces Major Investment in Human and Process Capital.

EPIC is investing $250,000 in the continuing growth of its employees and its processes leading to increased capabilities, efficiency, and capacity.

The pandemic opened a door of opportunity for us to transform many processes and challenge our knowledge base. Our COO and Founder Alfredo Moran Hassan emphasizes that, “If things are getting rough, what’s really important is to have vision, faith, and to identify that new thing we can focus on, which will make everything better.” So, through the challenging months, EPIC decided to stay true to its essence and not look at the difficulties but rather at the opportunities. To be at the forefront and generate a competitive advantage in this changing environment, we chose to first look inwards and focus on our core: People and Processes.

In January 2022, we kicked-off our change management strategy reviving our internal processes in coherence with the decision to fully implement the ISO Quality, Health and Safety and Environmental Management Systems (9001, 45000 and 14000). To support the new processes and Management Systems, EPIC Consultants has invested in working with Procore and TargetGov on new information systems, along with substantial training programs to all employees in how to manage, operate and optimize them.

Additionally, over 50% of EPIC Consultants’ workforce is in the process of furthering their education with certifications such as Unlimited Electrical Contractor, ISO, PMP, Lean 6 Sigma, as well as graduate programs including MBAs and doctorates, all funded by EPIC. According to Marila Fernandez, a Construction Project Manager, “Having been part of EPIC Consultants for two months, I have already been able to not only acquire knowledge of the company processes and procedures to sustain performance and carry out the required tasks, but I have had the opportunity to grow as an individual and a professional. I am currently enrolled in two courses to obtain both, the PMP Certification as well as the Lean 6 sigma Green Belt.”

As a company, we understand that by giving employees the chance to build their skills, strength, and knowledge, we are adding value to their lives and to the work they do. In the words of Johnny Rojas, EPIC’s VP of Operations and Founder, “as a person, as an organization, as a country, or anything, the basis is education… The pursuit of knowledge is a fantastic thing. From that point on everything can happen.”

Education amplifies our capabilities as it benefits employees’ individual career paths. Learning and development opportunities improve productivity, engagement, and increases employee satisfaction. However, for EPIC, it’s a lot more than that. As Alfredo adds, “The fact that it is better for the company, that is a byproduct. In the end, it is a decision of the individual to honor us with their presence here, to share their knowledge with us. It’s more related to giving everybody the opportunity that we had to keep getting better, otherwise it would not be consistent to who we are.”

For EPIC, who also offers Lean 6 Sigma, Supply Chain, ISO Management, Team Facilitation, Project Leadership and other programs with Florida International University in Miami, “Continuous education is imbedded to our DNA. The fact that we are so closely associated with FIU is no coincidence,” says Alfredo. “Personally, I think that everyone needs to keep on growing, continuously improving. So, if we can afford it and actually make it happen, we are really happy to do so.”

Afterall, at EPIC, we’re in the business of making things better. Whether it is through consulting, professional development, or construction, we believe that a better world is built by people, organizations and structures that are in constant improvement. That’s who we are.

Honor and Integrity – Their Lessons will never die

Honor and Integrity – Their Lessons will never die

Memorial Day is a holiday in which we express gratitude towards the utmost sacrifice of our fallen heroes and pay our respects to those who honor them by continuing to carry their mission. At EPIC Consultants, we also take this as an opportunity to recognize the many veterans and parents of active military who work with us and the principles and values they represent. Jennifer M. Granholm once said “Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than visits to the troops, and once-a-year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by treating the living well”. Thus, for EPIC Consultants, it is important to acknowledge how much we owe them for their service and for the so many lessons they have brought to our lives, which have helped to shape us as a company. According to our COO and Founder Alfredo Moran Hassan, whose two sons served with the US Army in Afghanistan and daughter is a Lt. Commander of the US Navy, “For EPIC, it is a very big deal to have so many connections to the military, having almost every branch represented”.

The military experience paves the way for brotherhood, loyalty, commitment, empowerment, and improvement, some of the key values EPIC is built on. It also brings diversity and a sense of adventure when dealing with uncertainty. “Bombs might be dropping left and right but we always see something around the corner telling us things are going to be much better.”, says Alfredo. And that is why, at EPIC Consultants, we choose to honor the memory of those who lost their lives for our nation by constantly striving to live and grow by the values and examples they fought for. John F. Kennedy once stated that “as we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them.”

 

Honor and Integrity

“As the first generation of immigrants exiling from the war, you develop a sense of gratitude and loyalty to the country that takes you. Your kids grow up in that environment and they want to pay it back.” Said Alfredo. “They serve the country with a great deal pride as they set off to represent more than themselves.” That sense of honor and integrity is at the foundation of EPIC Consultants.

“Work ethics is ingrained in you in the military”, says Adriana Abbade, EPIC’s Head of Marketing and Business Development whose son is currently in Pensacola, FL in training to become a Naval Aviator. “Everything from respecting chains of command, following procedures, using control systems, management, leadership and communication, to maintaining quality and order and promptly finding solutions to any complications that arise, that is all brought in such a way that it becomes who you are.”

 

Commitment and Empowerment

Freedom doesn’t come cheap nor easy; it is earned through the strong commitment and sacrifices American soldiers make every day.  Johnny Rojas, EPIC’s VP of Operations and Founder who served the US Navy in Rota, Spain and was part of the Desert Storm Desert Shield operation, recalls how he, at 17, was able to do things he had never imagined. As an Aviation Ordnanceman, handling a series of dangerous tasks, there was “no time to think and let fear in”. “When you are faced with a situation, you fix it, and then you think about it.” … “At EPIC”, he says, “we put our necks on the line and go beyond what other companies do. We empower and prepare our employees, so they are capable and encouraged to take action.” People are relying on you to do your part. The big lesson for Johnny was, “You got to show up! Get up and be there, wherever that is.”

 

Improving and Pushing our Limits

Our limits are set by our beliefs. “In the military, I’ve learned to develop a ‘can do it’ attitude.” said Gubiath Rojas, a Senior Consultant at EPIC who served for the Marine Corps, the Navy, and the Airforce, “We only use a very small portion of our capacity and need to learn to challenge that.”

Obstacles are opportunities for improvement and the military discipline teaches us to not create excuses. Instead, when facing adversity, we just regroup, sharpen our skills and get the task done. Any situation can become a process with steps that must be followed to win the battle.

 

Loyalty and Teamwork

To have a strong team, we must help others and bring them up to speed so we can all go faster together. “We can only go as fast as our slowest men”, mentioned Gubiath. “We can’t leave anyone behind!” In the military, this is critical! “You don’t just get rid of the slowest man (or woman), you set a plan to help them improve. And that’s how you grow as a team”. Teamwork brings people together and helps us recognize that we are all united by something bigger and that makes us stronger.

Above all, it’s about brotherhood, about loyalty. At EPIC, “it’s more than a job. We hope everyone here feels that it doesn’t matter what is happening to you, we got your back.” said Alfredo. “When your life depends on your buddy, you develop that sense of connection, trust and loyalty.” And that is felt, as Gubiath said “in business, dog eats dog, but EPIC has a heart. They add a human touch to it”.

So, we wake up every day committed to make it better. We use those values that define this country in our actions. We contribute to the overall success by building on our team. As someone once said, “If you want to thank a soldier, be the kind of American worth fighting for”. We strive for the continuous improvement of ourselves, our team, and our clients, and to be a great example for others to follow. We are forever grateful for the ultimate sacrifice of those who died for our country. May their courage, dedication and honor live forever through us all.

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EPIC Consultants, Inc.

EPIC Consultants is a small business General Contracting and Business and Process Improvement firm
based in Miami, FL owned by dedicated engineers committed to building lasting relationships with our
employees, partners and clients.
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info@epic-consultants.com
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SBA Certified 8(a) exit date: 8/26/2027
NAICS: 236220, 236210, 611430, 541611
PSC: Y1EZ, Z200, R420, U001