November 29, 2018
Groundbreaking Work: Creating Safer Healthcare Spaces That Support the Healing Process
Each year, The Center for Health Design’s Board of Director’s selects a person or organization that has contributed to our field in a significant way and awards them the Changemaker Award in acknowledgement of their accomplishments. This year the Changemaker Award went to someone who 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 - Francis Murdock Pitts, FAIA FACHA OAA. Frank is the founding partner and president of architecture+, an advocate, educator, and
designer who for nearly 40 years, 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.
During the Changemaker Award ceremony at Healthcare Design Expo & Conference this year, longtime friend and colleague, Joan Saba, FAIA, FACHA, Partner NBBJ, talked with Frank about his career, what he is currently working on and what the future holds. (Read more here.)
Providing all of us with a lifetime full of advocacy and leadership in achieving equity, diversity and inclusion within architecture has provided so many people with inspiration and opportunities - congratulations again to Frank, our 2018 Changemaker!
Debra Levin, Hon. FASID, EDAC
President and CEO
Industry News Briefs
Psychiatric Care for Children Designed to be a 'Pavillion in the Park'
VCU Health and Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University have opened a 119,000-square-foot Virginia Treatment Center for Children (VTCC), in Richmond, Va. Dedicated to delivering family-centered psychiatric care for young patients, the freestanding, $65 million facility provides short-term crisis stabilization with round-the-clock care, and assistance to families in transitioning patients to continuing care after discharge.
The team at CannonDesign (Grand Island, N.Y.) conceived the VTCC as a “pavilion in the park,” designed to offer a welcoming, non-institutional feel for its clientele.
The center, which opened in April 2018, has 32 beds, consisting of two units with 12 private rooms each. (Typical inpatient stays are 5 to 7 days.) Patient amenities include a gymnasium, outdoor courtyard, and play equipment. Healthcare Design, more . . .
Design Can Support Mental Healthcare Delivery
The threshold holds special fascination for architects. A doorway, hall, or garden is a spatial manifestation of transition between two phases and can make all the difference in the experience of both. In the design of mental-health-care spaces, where a patient may literally enter in one state and exit in another, the threshold is particularly important.
“We look at the sequencing as you move from the outside through the inside,” says Stephanie Vito, a lead architect in the behavioral-health studio at CannonDesign. “We really spend a lot of time looking at the nuances.”
With 27 people—architects, planners, designers, engineers, programmers, and advisers—spread over six of the firm’s offices in the United States and Canada, the studio operates as a pool of experts tapped to helm projects in the highly specialized field of behavioral-healthcare design, in which everything from drywall to faucets requires consideration different from that in other health-care environments. CannonDesign has been creating behavioral-health-care spaces for three decades, so it has had ample opportunity to track the field’s evolution. Metropolis, more. . .
Inaugural International Nursing Conference for Excellence in Healthcare Design: History, Design and Innovation
Abstracts are now being accepted for the inaugural International Nursing Conference for Excellence in Healthcare Design, sponsored by the Clemson University School of Nursing. Abstacts may focus on measuring outcomes, patient experience, safety and quality, healthy work environment, and innovation and design.
More information here.
A Special Thank You to Our 25th Anniversary VIP Reception Partners, Friends and Donors
On Saturday, November 10, 2019, The Center for Health Design held a special 25th Anniversary Celebration & Silent Auction to honor those who have contributed to and made The Center' s work possible. Affiliate and Affiliate+ members, Pebble Project partners, The Center's board members, friends and staff mingled, enjoyed appetizers and bid on various auction items both live and virtual. You can see the full reception program here.