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Behavioral Health Virtual Workshop

September 2020

The Workshop

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

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

This virtual workshop provides the latest in design thinking for behavioral health care and offers state-of-the-art best practices through thought leader presentations, case studies, and panel discussions. Attendees will have opportunities to pose questions to workshop faculty and interact with fellow attendees in fun and innovative ways.




Welcome Opening Remarks & Introductions

Ellen Taylor, PhD, AIA, MBA, EDAC, Vice President for Research, The Center for Health Design


Opening Keynote—State of the Practice in Behavioral Health Care and Design

Learn about trends in behavioral health and design and how a holistic, universally designed approach can advance health and wellness and address inequities in care.

Josh Langham, Assistant Director of the Active Design program, Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention within the Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)


Panel #1: Let’s Talk About Safety

Safety is essential in behavioral health care settings to ensure the health and well-being of both patients and their care givers. However, at points the safety and supervision of behavioral health patients can hinder their needs for feelings of health, wellness and personal autonomy.  Join this panel for a thoughtful discussion about the challenges in balancing these two needs.

Peter Mills, Director, VA National Center for Patient Safety Field Office at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Tammy Felker, AIA, ACHA, RN, LEED AP BD+C, Planner / Healthcare Architect, NBBJ
Brian Giebink, AIA, LEED AP, Behavioral Health Planner, HDR


Audience Q&A with Panel #1


West Coast Coffee Break/ East Coast Lunch Break


Panel #2: Whole-Person Health: Managing Behavioral Health Care with other Diagnosed Care Needs

Care for behavioral health does not happen in a vacuum and in many cases, patients with behavioral health care needs also need care for other physical diagnoses. This panel will discuss the challenges in balancing that care, various settings for care, and new approaches that are working and approaches that are needed.

Shary Adams, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, LEED AP BD+C, Principal | Senior Medical Planner, HGA
Kayvan Madani Nejad, PhD, AIA, Director, Senior Healthcare Architect, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, CES | OFP | CFM
Laurie Wolf, PhD, Director of Human Factors Implementation, Carilion Clinic
Robert Trestman, PhD, MD, Senior Vice President and Chair, Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine


Behavioral Health Design Research: Top Picks and Resources to Access It

Obtain a quick overview of some key research studies around design for behavioral health topics such as safety, therapeutic environments, outpatient environments and more, as well as places and resources where you can access design research. 

Ellen Taylor, PhD, AIA, MBA, EDAC, Vice President for Research, The Center for Health Design


West Coast Lunch Break/ East Coast Afternoon Snack


Panel #3: Going Outside

It has long been understood that being outside and having access to nature has positive benefits to good mental health. This is especially true for behavioral health care settings. Join this panel to hear about the demonstrated benefits of access to nature, best practice programs and design of outside settings, and how to address safety considerations.

Fred Foote, CAPT, MC, USN, ret., Scholar, Institute for Integrative Health
Naomi A. Sachs, PhD, AIA, ASLA, EDAC, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture; Founding Director, Therapeutic Landscapes Network; Co-Editor, Health Environments Research & Design


Audience Q&A with Panel #3


Behavioral Health Virtual Workshop

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