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The Center for Health Design Announces

 2018 Changemaker Award Recipient - 
Advocate, Leader, Spokesperson, Educator 

Concord, CA - Francis Murdock Pitts, FAIA FACHA OAA, has been named as the 2018 Changemaker Award recipient by The Center for Health Design’s Board of Directors. Given annually at Healthcare Design Expo & Conference, the award honors individuals or organizations that have demonstrated exceptional ability to change the way healthcare facilities are designed and built, and whose work has had broad impact on the advancement of healthcare design. 

As the founding partner and president of architecture+, Francis, (Frank), Murdock Pitts is an advocate, educator, and designer, and is internationally recognized for his impact on the design of healthcare facilities with particular recognition for his groundbreaking work in the planning and design of psychiatric facilities. 

For nearly 40 years, Frank has been a leader in a movement that has resulted in the re-imagination of the psychiatric hospital as a building type; one that confounds the stigma of mental illness and provides examples, lessons, and inspiration for mental health providers and architects throughout the world. He is a pioneer in the understanding and implementation of two interrelated movements impacting hospital design: evidence-based design and therapeutic environments. Recognized as an advocate for broader dissemination of scientific evidence that healthcare environments have a profound influence on patient recovery, he has used this work as a means to fundamentally rethink the environments in which psychiatric and cognitive care, in particular, are provided. His House-Neighborhood-Downtown model for mental health facilities and the creation of smaller cluster-based residential treatment settings within larger inpatient units, are the product of extensive research, collaboration with clinicians, interaction with mental health patients and their families, continuing observation, and imagination about the potential for environments to support healing.

A frequent writer, lecturer, and panelist, he is committed to sharing his expertise with the architectural, medical, and scientific communities. He has spoken about psychiatric care, the relationship between architecture and neuroscience, and healthcare design in the United States, Canada, Asia, and Europe. His firm's research into patient safety lead to the development of a testing-based and research-informed patient safety standard that is cited by the Facility Guidelines Institute's Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals (2018 edition)as a generally recognized standard. 

“The enormous impact that Frank has had pushing our industry forward as a practitioner, volunteer, spokesperson, and advocate has been felt worldwide with over 200 psychiatric hospital projects involving over 20,000 beds in nearly 40 states and provinces and three countries”, said Frank Weinberg, M.S., Board Chair, The Center for Health Design. “His advocacy and leadership in achieving equity, diversity and inclusion within architecture has provided so many people with inspiration and opportunities. A dedicated mentor to the next generation of health design practitioners, he is currently serving as a mentor for a medical doctor and aspiring architect, completing his Psychiatric Residency at the Stanford University Medical Center and a graduate student working with Roger Ulrich and Stefan Lundin at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. For all that Frank has contributed to this industry, illustrating how a single person and small organization can have a significant impact on the quality of life for a large community, we are very happy to recognize and thank him with this award.”

Frank will officially accept the Changemaker Award and be the keynote speaker on Monday, November 12, 2018, at the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.  For more information, click here.

Media Relations Contact:

Linda P. Franklin
(925) 521-9404 ext.123


The Center for Health Design is a nonprofit 501c(3) organization whose mission is to transform healthcare environments for a healthier, safer world through design research, education and advocacy. Looking for ways to support our work? Contact us.

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