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

May 2, 2019

The Scoop

Debra Levin

May  Mental Health Month

For 70 years, May has been observed in the U.S. as Mental Health Awareness month. It's a time to raise awareness of those living with mental or behavioral health issues and to help reduce the stigma so many experience. An integral part of every community, healthcare facilities play an important role dealing not only with the stigma, but with the growing mental health and substance abuse crises that reaches far beyond the behavioral health units into emergency departments, outpatient clinics and throughout acute care settings. Every healthcare space we design needs to support the best and latest design solutions to support these challenges and enhance patient and staff safety. I would personally like to extend you an invitation to attend one of our upcoming behavioral health strategic design workshops happening May 15 in Los Angeles and September 18 in Baltimore. You will have an opportunity to hear and work with industry experts, idea-share with colleagues and obtain new strategies and resources that will allow you to meet these design challenges.

Make sure to also get these upcoming events happening on your calendar:

And finally, I wanted to remind you about the three workshops in one week, in one location coming in the fall. Addressing design challenges for demographic- and age- diverse pediatric populations, the first workshop is "Building Blocks - New Design Strategies and Solutions for Pediatric Settings" on September 17. The next day is "Behavioral Health - Design Innovations that Improve Outcomes and Safety" with "Design for the Aging Mind - Solutions for Every Setting" on September 19. All three will be held at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor. There are early bird and multi-workshop discounts available. To find out more, click here.

Be well,

Debra Levin, Hon. FASID, EDAC
President and CEO



There's Still Time to Register!

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

Who Should Attend

  • Healthcare architects, planners, designers, and consultants
  • Behavioral health facility or department directors, physicians, nurses and managers
  • Healthcare facilities and planning executives
  • Hospital executives with behavioral health department oversight
  • Product manufacturers

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:



EBD Journal Club

Toward a Framework for Designing Person-Centered Mental Health Interiors for Veterans

In this EBD Journal Club, Sheila Bosch, PhD, EDAC and Lisa Sundahl Platt, MS, CSSBB, EDAC, LEED AP BD+C  explore the potential influence that nurturing interior environments may have on patient well-being. The Veteran's Administration has been designing and constructing mental health settings intended to calm, restore, and revive. This EBD Journal Club reviews  a framework for creating and designing person-centered mental health interiors that is supportive of human factors for a healthcare organization's clinical and operational staff as well as Veterans. 

Enjoy this free resource 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: 

Toronto, May 22

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. 

Design for Behavioral and Mental Health: A Universal Approach & Benefit Analysis Tool

Design interventions to improve well-being for patients with behavioral and mental health (BMH) conditions will often have impacts on other populations, as well (e.g., staff, visitors, non-BMH patients who use the same facility). This tool will help you consider those broader impacts and incorporate them into an evidence-based process for a universal design approach. 

Webinar: Designing the Future of Integrated Behavioral Health 

This tool provides healthcare designers and professionals with patient-centered medical home principles/goals and how environmental, operational and people measures can be implemented to achieve said goal. 


Industry News Briefs

Integrating Modern Equipment into Existing Spaces

Modern medical equipment is advancing rapidly, providing patients with state-of-the-art care and procedures that enhance safety. As an outcome, hospitals are retrofitting existing space in order to integrate modern equipment and technology into their buildings. In some cases, the upgraded spaces are in facilities that are 40 and 50 years old. Needless to say, this comes with many challenges, some of which are difficult to foresee.

From the size of the new equipment, to reconfigured floor plans and existing building constraints, hospitals face critical challenges and risks if they aren’t working with a qualified and knowledgeable team of designers and contractors. When the right team isn’t in place, the ability for a hospital to provide critical medical services in a timely manner is jeopardized, and patients’ care can suffer from a hospital’s inability to perform.

To ensure that the integration of new medical technology and equipment is being appropriately planned for, and the design and construction team is qualified to do the work, there are several important factors to consider.
Colorado Real Estate Journal, more. . .


Vancouver Care Facility Moves to 'Dementia Village' Model

A major makeover is underway at a facility for dementia patients in South Vancouver: staff are creating a "dementia village" to help patients feel more like they're living in a home, rather than a hospital.

The model for the villages — specifically-designed care communities and living environments for those with dementia — has seen success in the Netherlands and is gaining traction in B.C.

"It's [about] increasing the engagement of staff, being more personalized in the care and the understanding of the life experience of residents," said Rae Johnson, site director for Holy Family Residence.
CBC News, more...

That’s A Wrap: Northside Hospital Parking Garage Mural

While embarking on the first major expansion of its Atlanta campus in more than a decade, Northside Hospital encountered an unwelcoming sight: a 100-foot-wide cement column in the center of a patient vehicle drop-off circle.

The structural column supported the weight of a new eight-story patient tower, but it was located near the front door and lobby of the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, meaning patients and visitors have to drive or walk around the column to enter the building.

Rather than accept the eyesore, the hospital worked with Art Initiative Inc. (Atlanta), the art advisor on the project, to commission a 2,000-square-foot mural by Atlanta artist Ryan Coleman to cover the column.
Healthcare Design, more...

Dynamic New San Francisco Hospital Opens its Doors

A brand-new flagship hospital for Sutter Health — the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) — opened its doors to patients in March, serving as a hub for Sutter Health’s inpatient and outpatient services citywide.

The 1,015,000-square-foot hospital encompasses 11 patient floors (plus two-stories of central utility plant located above,) 274-patient beds, 20 labor and delivery rooms, and 418 parking spaces.

The California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Van Ness Campus hospital ultimately reimagines what an urban medical center can be, with dynamic architecture that knits the civic realm to 21st century health care and provides a beacon for health and wellness in the city.

Located on a full-city block at the major arterial intersection of Van Ness Avenue and Geary Boulevard in downtown San Francisco, the hospital was designed to enhance the urban fabric as a 12-story contemporary glass, metal and stone tower reflective of the high-rise buildings of the city’s nearby Financial District.
HC+O NEWS, more...

Seventh Annual Internationally Acclaimed CODAawards Celebrate Commissioned Art Projects

The internationally acclaimed CODAawards, now in their seventh year, celebrate the design projects that most successfully integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural, or public spaces. The awards, selected from projects around the world, honor the individuals and the teams whose collective imaginations create the public and private spaces that inspire us every day. Submit projects for consideration by May 31, 2019. 

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? 
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