Glenn Buntin Tackles ThedaCare’s New Master Plan for Future Patient Care

ThedaCare’s Glenn Buntin is applying two decades of experience in architecture and construction to the Wisconsin healthcare industry and revitalizing the state’s communities in the process

ThedaCare's Regional Cancer Center, in Appleton, WI, open in 2016, won the company a number of awards, including a Merit Award for Excellence in Architectural Design from the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Courtesy of HGA Architects

When a patient turns to a ThedaCare health facility for medical treatment, having peace of mind is crucial. A favorable lasting impression must occur from the moment the patient enters the facility to when their care is complete. “All of those stages are opportunities to have a positive impact and provide peace of mind to patients and their families,” says Glenn Buntin, director of design and construction. “Oftentimes, a patient’s first impression of ThedaCare comes when entering and navigating our facilities. I take that very seriously.” Buntin joins new president and CEO Imran Andrabi, who arrived in June 2018, to oversee the century-old community healthcare system that serves 235,000 patients in northeast Wisconsin.

The patient experience unites more than 7,000 healthcare professionals in the ThedaCare network, which comprises seven hospitals and 35 clinics across 14 counties. The largest employer in the state houses two large hospitals in the cities of Appleton and Neenah, with five other rural hospitals located in Berlin, New London, Shawano, and Wild Rose. As a nonprofit healthcare organization and a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, ThedaCare has a level II trauma center, a comprehensive cancer treatment program, and stroke and cardiac programs to support patients in need.

ThedaCare Glenn Buntin
Glenn Buntin, Director of Design & Construction, ThedaCare Photo by Graham Washatka

ThedaCare has a long, rich history of providing healthcare to the communities it serves. The company’s roots trace back to 1909, when Theda Clark Memorial Hospital, now ThedaCare Regional Medical Center–Neenah, was constructed. The hospital opened with 20 beds. Today, with some of the original structure still in place, it has grown to 160 beds. “We have been a strong presence in northeast Wisconsin for a long time, and the people who live and work in the communities truly appreciate our presence,” Buntin says.

Yet ThedaCare is currently undergoing a system-wide facility master-planning initiative to strategize facility requirements to best serve its communities. This comprehensive, system-wide approach under its new executive leadership is examining existing facilities and potential future facilities to determine how best to meet the needs of patients and the ever-changing healthcare environment. “Our mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve,” Buntin says. “Our facilities, both existing and future, are a critical part of achieving that mission.”

Each community and each facility is considered from a broader perspective of time. The initial objective identifies the needs of the community, and additional objectives establish whether the existing facilities can meet the demands or whether renovations to existing facilities or new facilities are needed. “As we work through our facility master-planning process, one of our goals is to preserve our ties to the communities,” Buntin says. “We have placed an emphasis on maintaining our existing hospitals.”

ThedaCare Glenn Buntin
In Neenah, Wisconsin, ThedaCare’s $25.6 million Physician’s Clinic contains more than 60 exam rooms providing a full suite of services.

The healthcare environment is evolving, driven by changing consumer demands, payer reforms, and scientific and technological advances. To meet the demands of the changing environment, the facilities in which healthcare is provided must also evolve. “We are studying the demands of the changing healthcare environment on our system-wide facility footprint,” Buntin says. “This includes evaluating existing facilities and the potential need for new facilities. Existing or new, we need to make sure our facilities allow us to continue providing excellent, accessible healthcare that meets the demands of our patients and the changing healthcare environment. I love the challenges and the opportunities for creativity that come with my job.”

Buntin has been in the design and construction profession for more than 20 years now, and he joined the healthcare industry three years ago, when he arrived at ThedaCare. At that point in his career, he wanted to contribute his skills for the greater good. He is deeply passionate about his work and enjoys the process of facility development, from strategic planning and design through construction and operational turnover.

“When you cut the ribbon on a new or remodeled facility, you get to see the fruits of your labor,” Buntin says. “Designing and building highly functional facilities that help enable our staff, doctors, and nurses to provide excellent care and deliver peace of mind for all we serve is really rewarding.”

Praiseworthy Projects

The following construction projects at ThedaCare won awards under the leadership of Glenn Buntin, director of design and construction.

Shawano Hospital

Location: Shawano, WI
Description: 22-bed critical access hospital, attached to existing clinic; 40 percent of clinic was renovated as part of the project; LEED-certified facility
Size: 127,555 sq. ft.
Open: August 2015
Awards: Recognized as one of the Top Projects of 2015 by The Daily Reporter

Regional Cancer Center

Location: Appleton, WI
Description: Radiation oncology treatment center with inpatient space for hospital transfers and anesthesia procedures; it includes areas for infusion, with pharmacy mixing, therapy, council, and research support
Size: 84,000 sq. ft.
Open: February 2016
Awards: Recognized as one of the Top Projects of 2016 by The Daily Reporter; Merit Award for Excellence in Architectural Design from the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects; and first place in healthcare over 15,000 sq. ft. in the International Interior Design Association–Wisconsin Chapter’s 2017 Design Competition

ThedaCare Glenn Buntin
In addition to its inviting lobby, the Regional Cancer Center contains inpatient space and areas for pharmacy mixing, therapy, council, and research support. Courtesy of HGA Architects

Juliette Manor Skilled Nursing Facility

Location: Berlin, WI
Description: 37-bed skilled nursing facility providing care for short-term rehab residents, stable long-term care residents, and memory care
Size: 43,432 sq. ft.
Open: June 2016
Awards: Honor Award for overall design excellence from the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

Neenah Clinic

Location: Neenah, WI
Description: A more-than-60 room clinic offering family practice, internal medicine, occupational health, outpatient behavioral health, and oncology services; it also includes X-ray, mammogram, bone density scans, oncology services, and same-day lab services
Size: 74,000 sq. ft.
Open: February 2017
Awards: 2016 Concrete Design Award from Wisconsin Ready Mixed Concrete Association


Congratulations to Glenn Buntin on this well-deserved recognition. McMAHON’s strong partnership with ThedaCare over 18 years has aimed to improve the experience of patients and healthcare professionals. We appreciate the opportunity to work closely with Glenn, who values innovative thinking and integrated teamwork, creating opportunities for continued improvement.