A perspective on HCD from the Herman Miller Scholars


Herman Miller Healthcare sponsors several emerging professionals seeking licensure each year to attend the Healthcare Design Expo and Conference (HCD), the fall conference of the Center for Health Design and the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health. Each selected recipient receives reimbursement to cover registration fees, air travel, and hotel room costs. This scholarship program is part of Herman Miller's continuing commitment to excellence in healthcare architecture and support of young architects.

The 2018 cycle will open in the summer to attend HCD in Phoenix, November 10-13. To learn more about the application process, visit the Herman Miller Scholarship. If you have any questions, please direct them to aah@aia.org.

Hear from four of this year’s seven recipients on what it was like to be a Herman Miller Scholar and experience the 2017 HCD.


The Herman Miller Scholars receiving their certificates at the Academy Update reception

Siobhan Lee

I am very thankful to Herman Miller for giving me the opportunity to attend this year’s Healthcare Design Conference in Orlando, FL. I did not know what to expect but I was ready to meet other healthcare architects and learn what the future of healthcare design looked like. My experience at the conference surpassed all my expectations. My fellow scholars are incredibly bright, motivated and compassionate, and I felt extremely lucky to have been amongst them.

One of my favorite sessions I attended was the Case Study of the BC Children's and Women’s Major Redevelopment Project by ZGF, Covalus, and BC Provincial Health. This project hit a personal chord because my mom has been a NICU nurse in that facility for the past 30 years. It was interesting to hear about the P3 process, the challenges they faced, and how the partnership amongst so many parties worked out. Since the new hospital opened, she has been constantly sending me photos of herself at work and she is incredibly happy. Learning about the design process and seeing the end user (my mom) so happy gave this project the full arc that I hope to achieve in one of my projects in the future.

I left the conference fully energized and excited to tell the rest of my firm what I learned throughout those few days. I encourage everyone who is eligible to apply and hope they have as great as an experience as I did.

Melissa Lefebvre

Passion. Commitment. Strength. These are a few words that come to mind when I think back on my experience at the 2017 Healthcare Design Conference in Orlando which I had the opportunity to attend through the Herman Miller through scholarship program. 

One of the highlights of the conference was a tour I took to the Hollis Care Center at Lakeland Regional Health. It was very powerful to see firsthand the passion the designers had for creating an environment that pulled the outside world in with such grace in the new infusion addition as it played along the edge of an existing lake adjacent to the site.  Reacting to nature to any degree within design can make such positive steps towards the patient experience. This overarching theme of bringing the outside in stuck with me throughout the remainder of the conference as I heard presentations on many other projects and the challenges they faced, as well as the products at the expo that were so beautifully empathic to the patient experience. 

Beyond the vast amount of information, the connections I made with the other scholarship winners and fellow healthcare enthusiasts was very valuable. Everyone’s commitment to healthcare design was very evident, and that forms a strength in the healthcare design community to better the patient experience at all levels. 

Kerry Anderson, AIA, NCARB

I was so honored to be chosen as a Herman Miller Healthcare Scholar for the 2017 HCD conference. It was a privilege to spend three days among so many professionals with a shared passion for healthcare design. 

I found great value in the keynote speakers’ focus on the future of the industry and how our consumer-centric culture will influence healthcare moving forward. I attended many great sessions over the course of the conference. One of the sessions most applicable to my community was the “deep dive” on telemedicine. As a rural Iowa community, we have seen an uptick in the use of telemedicine, and to be able to have a more comprehensive idea of where that particular field may trend in the future will be invaluable. I also really enjoyed hearing about the operating room research going on at Clemson University, and I look forward to hearing more from them in the coming years as they study their prototype design. 

I can say without a doubt that attending HCD broadened my healthcare knowledge base, helped me form new connections in the industry, and affirmed this is the area in which I want to focus my career. I must express my heartfelt thanks to Herman Miller and AAH for making this experience possible for me.


Stephanie Yeow

When I found out I had been chosen as one of seven young professionals to attend the Healthcare Design Expo as a Herman Miller Scholar, I was beyond excited. Not only was this the leading industry event, but I wanted to meet other young professionals in the healthcare industry. Looking back now at those four days in Florida, I came back with so much more.

Stephanie_Yeow1.jpgThe 2017 Herman Miller Scholars - Graydon Zaynk, Alise Robles, Stephanie Yeow, Siobhan Lee, Linea Floden and Kerry Anderson with Mr. Joel Van Wyk from Herman Miller Healthcare. We were missing the 7th HM Scholar, Melissa LeFebreve in this photo

Before attending the conference, I had a broad goal in mind for what I wanted to take home from the conference. As a young medical planner working at NBBJ, I am constantly challenged at work to think of different ways in which healthcare design can build stronger communities, encourage healthier environments and advance technology. With those ideas in mind, I went to HCD 2017 eager to find out how other professionals were addressing these issues, what new products were available in the market and how the profession as a whole was anticipating the future in healthcare design.

The agenda for the four days at the conference was non-stop. There were so many exciting events and talks happening each day. Some of the highlights were assisting and participating in an exam room mock-up workshop, visiting the Lakeland Regional Hollis Cancer Center, attending the brilliant keynotes and the ACHA Annual Luncheon, as well as visiting the expo hall which was full of new and exciting products. My schedule was filled with sessions ranging from patient engagement and operations on infection control to large scale discussions on emerging technology trends and resiliency strategies. Nevertheless, the most memorable moment for me was meeting the six other Herman Miller Scholars who each had such unique backgrounds and experiences that shaped their interest in creating meaningful work through design.

As a whole, those 4 days were beyond what I had expected. I returned to New York City with new ideas, curiosity to learn more and a renewed enthusiasm for the work I get to do every day knowing I belong to an amazing community of dedicated professionals in the healthcare design industry. I am grateful for the experience that this Herman Miller Scholarship has allowed and I am eager to encourage young professionals to participate in future conferences as we are the future leaders who will shape the industry.

Stephanie_Yeow2.jpgFrom left clockwise: Lakeland Regional Hollis Cancer Center considers the context and frames the site, Participants at the ‘Mock It and They Will Come’ workshop brainstorming the ideal patient exam room, A scene from the ACHA Annual Luncheon with speaker Jake Poore and the cardboard mockup of the exam room prepared for the workshop