Wed, Nov 17, 2021, 12:00 PM – Wed, Nov 17, 2021, 01:00 PM

Event Host


The COVID-19 pandemic forced health care systems to question whether they were adequately prepared to properly handle patients with certain infectious diseases. Learn how one health center worked with a team of mechanical engineers to develop negative pressure rooms to address this need. In this presentation, representatives from Southern Illinois Healthcare and McClure Engineering discuss the factors involved in making the decision to retrofit patient rooms into negative pressure rooms. You’ll also learn how it was ultimately accomplished, as the current HVAC systems dictated the approach to each room. Not only was the project successful in isolating the health center’s COVID-19 patients, but it also equipped the facility to easily “turn on” the negative pressure rooms for potential future pandemics.

Learning Outcomes: 

  • Discuss methods for how to configure HVAC to accommodate infectious disease patients in facilities while minimizing risk to the rest of the occupants.
  • Identify common challenges with existing HVAC systems for accommodating COVID patients.
  • Explain how to configure HVAC systems to enable “negative isolation mode” for patient wings when a need may arise.
  • Describe one health care system’s journey of selling this concept to the hospital administration. 


  • Eric Reuther, PE, ASHRAE HFDP, LEED AP BD+C, Principal, McClure Engineering
  • Mark Wehmeyer, PE, Mechanical, McClure Engineering
  • Dan Boeckman, CHFM, Corporate Director of Facilities, Southern Illinois Healthcare