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WEBINAR | Stronger Together: Inside the Design Process for a Community Model of Behavioral Health Care

When: April 18, 2024
Time: 12:00pm Pacific
Where: United States
Price: FREE

1 unit EDAC continuing education
1 unit AIA continuing education
IDCEC credit also available**

CEU forms available for download during webinar


In response to Governor Inslee’s plan to reform the Washington State’s behavioral health system and improve access to care, an innovative and immersive programming and design process for several new community-based facilities was employed. At the center of this new care model is a focus on human-centered design, providing spaces and support for patients to truly rehabilitate and prepare to re-enter the community.

This webinar will describe the design process of this unique project, merging the behavioral health expertise of BWBR with the local leadership of BCRA, working together with the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. See how they defined and developed a new model of care for community-based treatment for individuals involuntarily committed by a civil court order for inpatient mental health treatment. 

Attendees will explore the benefits of community-based treatment, lessons learned (and applied) after 12 months of occupancy at the first facility completed, and gain insights gathered from surveying facility staff on successes and opportunities that can be applied in the three buildings still under construction.  


Sponsor Partners: 






Learning Objectives

  • Understand key design strategies implemented in a facility to provide human-centered, healing environments for patients and staff.
  • Explore specific examples of a team and community- based approach to design.
  • Understand the practical and tactical design advantages and implications involved in shifting the paradigm towards community-based facilities.
  • Apply lessons learned and post occupancy survey data to other health systems and facilities.


Presenting Faculty

Melanie Baumhover, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, BWBR

Melanie Baumhover, BWBR architect and principal, works on projects throughout the continuum of care for behavioral and mental health care, including residential treatment, intensive outpatient care, specialty therapy outpatient facilities, emergency care, and forensic care. Clients seek out BWBR’s nationally known behavioral services for master and strategic planning, environment of care review, teamed projects as behavioral planner, and full design projects as architect of record. She also leads the internal Behavioral/Mental Health Community of Practice, dedicated to furthering knowledge throughout the firm.


Devan Swiontkowski, Healthcare Planner, BWBR

Devan Swiontkowski, BWBR healthcare planner, works closely with senior healthcare planning professionals and project teams, immersing herself in both design research and healthcare architecture. She has worked with major regional healthcare clients, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and many community and Critical Access Hospital health systems. She co-authored “Staff Resiliency: Filling Gap Exposed by COVID-19,” for Healthcare Facilities Today in 2021, was named one of Healthcare Design Magazine’s 2023 Rising Stars, and has appeared as a speaker at various conferences including HCD, ASHE, and AIA MN.


Dr. Brian Waiblinger, M.D, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Social and Health Services & Behavioral Health Administration

Dr. Brian Waiblinger, M.D., is a Board-Certified graduate of the University of Washington School of Medicine where he completed residency in Adult Psychiatry. His focus has been providing and improving care in community settings with a focus on underserved populations. He has worked as the psychiatric director for a 2,000-bed county jail, Medical Director for a nearly 1000 bed adult and forensic psychiatric hospital and in multiple other community facilities. Currently, he has been the Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Social and Health Services and for the Behavioral Health Administration since 2018.


Jim Wolch, AIA, Principal, BCRA

Jim Wolch, BCRA Principal is a registered architect with 34 years of experience. Jim is passionate about designing spaces where people thrive. Because of this commitment, he has devoted much of his career to healthcare and behavioral health design. As BCRA’s healthcare market lead, he brings knowledge of regulations, best practices, and lessons learned in behavioral health and medical office design. He derives great joy from helping clients develop meaningful experiences that create connections and facilitate wellness within their spaces.  Jim serves on the Board for Comprehensive Life Resources a Pierce County, Washington behavioral health provider and is co-president of the Seattle AIA Healthcare committee.