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The Center for Health Design


Devi A. Soman & Alessandro Morganti Announced
as 2023 Joseph G. Sprague New Investigator
Award Recipients

Concord, CA – Devi A. Soman, M.Arch, PGDHHM, EDAC and Alessandro Morganti, MD, PhD have been selected as the 2023 Joseph G. Sprague New Investigator Award Recipients. Both PhD students, Devi A. Soman attends Clemson University and Alessandro Morganti attends the Politecnico di Milano. Dr. Morganti is also a Visiting Research Scholar at the Stanford Autism Center and is a medical design research consultant with LS3P. Ms. Soman’s study: “The Impact of Free-Standing Birth Center Physical Environments on Patient Experience and Maternal Health Outcomes for Racially and Ethnically Diverse Women” explores the influence of free-standing birth center (FSBC) environments on experiences and physiological birth rates of racially and ethnically diverse women. Dr. Morganti’s study “Autism-Friendly Healthcare Spaces: Applying Evidence-Based Design in Two Pilot Case Studies” will compare behaviors of patients who experience modified healthcare spaces according to his research guidelines, to investigate the impact of such inclusive environments on the well-being of both neurodivergent and neurotypical populations.

As the 2023 award recipients, both Devi and Alessandro will receive $10,000 in funding to support their research.

Yolanda Keys, Research Associate, with The Center who led the New Investigator Award (NIA) jury panel, stated, “The Center for Health Design extends sincere congratulations to the 2023 NIA winners! We are grateful to Joseph Sprague for sponsoring the award and look forward to supporting these up-and-coming researchers.”

The Center and the jurors would also like to recognize the following candidates for making it to the top five finalists:

  • Sara Kennedy, BA, Doctoral Student, Graduate Research Assistant, The Center for Health Facilities Design and Testing, Clemson University: Understanding the Impact of the Built Environment on Workflows and Team Communication during Robotic-Assisted Surgery
  • Swati Goel, MS, Doctoral Candidate, Planning Design and Built Environment, Clemson University: Investigating the Environmental Barriers and Facilitators to Family-Centered Rounds (FCRs) in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
  • Widya A. Ramadhani, PhD, EDAC, Design Researcher, Perkins Eastman: Socially Engaging Environment: Development of Design Guidelines for Dining Spaces in Senior Living Communities

Devi A. Soman

Alessandro Morganti

Congratulations again to Devi A. Soman & Alessandro Morganti
and all the finalists!


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. Learn more. For information about sponsor or partnership opportunties, contact Randy Carter, VP of Relationship Development.

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