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The Center for Health Design
The Center for Health Design - Currents Newsletter

March 21, 2019

The Scoop

Getting Organized with Spring Cleaning 

Spring cleaning brings an opportunity to get organized in a new and fresh way. And with that organization often comes increased productivity. At The Center, we want to make finding and using our resources easy for our community, allowing you to be more productive with your time. To that end, we hope you will take advantage of our upcoming educational offerings: 

I hope to see you at this year's Environments for Aging Expo & Conference in Salt Lake City, UT on April 7-10. It's three days filled with seeing old friends, enjoying keynote presentations, workshops, walking tours and making discoveries in an expo hall filled with the latest products and ideas in design for aging lifestyles. And this year, I am personally looking forward to honoring the late Robert N. Mayer, of the Hulda B. and Maurice L. Rothschild Foundation with the Changemaker Award. A pioneer in eldercare reform both at the policy and local level, his work included eight national regulatory task forces and a wide range of initiatives seeking to improve the quality of life and to enhance the experience of residents, patients and families in long-term care communities.  

As always, I hope to also see you at our upcoming Behavioral Health Strategic Design workshop or any of the upcoming Health Design Insights Networking regional events! You can keep track of all our events, live and virtual here.

Be well,

Debra Levin, Hon. FASID, EDAC
President and CEO


Industry News Briefs


Understanding Behavioral Health Design Imperative

Over the past two years, The Center for Health Design has become more focused on understanding best practices for behavioral health design and building a body of strategic tools and resources for the industry. As part of this initiative, we held our second Pebble-in-Practice workshop on behavioral health facility design last year in Baltimore.

According to a presentation by Array Architects, one in five adults has experienced a mental health issue and one in 20 Americans lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. Half of all mental health disorders show up before a person turns 14; three-quarters before the age of 24. However, less than 20 percent of children and adolescents with mental health problems receive the treatment they need. Add to these figures a growing suicide rate and an opioid addiction epidemic that continues to be on the rise, and it’s clear why an understanding of how to design safe spaces for those struggling with mental health issues is important today.
Healthcare Design, more. . .


Technology Changing Healthcare Design Process

Technology plays a big role in our everyday lives. It is often a disruptive force that can change the way we function as a society and conduct business. This is also having a profound effect on the healthcare sector, enhancing the patient experience. 

Patients are using technology to address their healthcare needs in ways that we have never seen before. They are going online to self-diagnose their ailments, and researching potential over-the-counter treatment options, as well as using it to choose a clinician and healthcare facility. Wearables and personal assistive devices are at an all-time high. The Apple Watch was recently announced as “the most-used heart rate monitor in the world” and is racing to become the personal biometric device of choice — helping individuals to warn of potential health threats or monitor known issues.
Medical Construction & Design, more . . .


Healthcare Design Can Support Data Security

Architects can help healthcare facilities overcome security challenges  with design features, according to an article on the HMC Architectswebsite.

For instance, to prevent access to data storage and other personnel-only areas, architects must separate them from community spaces through improved wayfinding and use of partitions, privacy glass, and other design features. 

Clear lines of sight in common and secure areas allow healthcare staff and security personnel to more quickly identify an intrusion. 

Enhanced check-in process with patients enter their information into a data-secured kiosk surrounded by privacy screens can also enhance security. No words are spoken, so there’s no risk of eavesdropping. 
HMC Architects, more . . .


When Disaster Strikes: Healthcare Resiliency Special Report

From outbreaks of deadly viruses to devastating super storms to terrorist attacks, hospitals are on the front lines when natural or man-made crises hit the communities they serve. The result is an incredibly complex challenge for this industry: how to build healthcare facilities that are designed to withstand myriad what-if scenarios. In this special report, Healthcare Design digs into the complex wrinkles of planning, designing, and building for resiliency and disaster preparedness, offering takeaways on approaches that will remove some of the guess work from responding to the unknown.

This series of articles digs into topics including risk assessment and data analysis techniques, case studies on projects built for resiliency and those that survived disaster scenarios, and various regulatory and strategy considerations. Disasters will happen, and our healthcare infrastructure can be ready.
Healthcare Design, more. . . 





The Center for Health Design would like to thank our
thought leadership partner:


Consider the needs of behavioral health patients in every healthcare space you design

Register early -
workshop sold out last year!

Behavioral Health Strategic Design Innovations that Improve Treatment Outcomes, Safety and the Bottom Line

Date:  May 15, 2019
Hyatt Regency Los Angeles Airport
6225 West Century Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045

The challenges created by today’s growing mental health and substance abuse crises reach far beyond the behavioral health unit into emergency departments, outpatient clinics and throughout acute care settings.

To support improved care and enhance staff safety, today’s design, facility and care professionals have to advance their understanding of design’s impact on behavioral health care and learn how to incorporate the best and latest design solutions throughout the healthcare setting.

Real-world Experiences.
Future-looking Insights.

Hear the industry's leading behavioral health facility design experts share how design is making a difference in the lives of children and adults faced with behavioral and mental health conditions. They’ll share real world experiences and future-looking insights into:

  • The implications of your design decisions
  • Case studies of state-of-the-art facilities
  • Existing standards and behavioral health models

More workshop information here.

Sponsored by:



Designing the Future of Integrated Behavioral Health
Behavioral health settings guided by strict safety design measures often result in spaces that are stark, plain, and isolated potentially exacerbating environmental stressors and escalating already difficult patient situations. Acute care emergency settings have a particular set of challenges as EDs are predicting increased visits from behavioral health patients. 

View here.


We invite you

to join us for Health Design Insights Networking Events

Come meet and connect with The Center's Affiliate members and the regional healthcare design community for "Innovations in Healthcare Design," an informal, creative presentation with wine, hors d’oeuvres and networking (worth one EDAC/AIA CEU credit).

These events are FREE to The Center's Affiliate Members and Partners. Non-members can attend for a $65 donation which can later be applied towards membership. Contact Lynn Kenney for details,

Upcoming Health Design Insights Events: 

San Francisco, April 17

Chicago, July 25

New York, September 26


Classic Resources

Resources and tools to advance best practices and demonstrate the value of design to improve health outcomes, patient experience of care, and provider/staff satisfaction and performance. 

EDAC Advocate Firm Project 

Choctaw Nation Regional Medial Center, Durant, OK
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma launched a project for its Health Services Division, a state-of-the-art 143,000-square-foot medical center and renovation of a network of outlying clinics and wellness centers across eastern Oklahoma. They sought to create “A Place of Healing,” or in Choctaw: “Ahlakofi.”


Injury in Behavioral & Mental Health Settings: A Safety Risk Assessment Roadmap

This tool provides a crosswalk of design categories in the built environment (e.g., unit layout) and safety issues to consider in behavioral and mental health settings (e.g., blind spots). This table is meant to serve as a high-level roadmap for design considerations in conjunction with the online Safety Risk Assessment (SRA) toolkit.  (




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.

Donate  •  Become a Pebble Partner  •  Join our Community of Affiliates  •  
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© 2019 The Center for Health Design






1850 Gateway Boulevard
Concord, CA 94520
United States

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