Welcome the 2019 AAH President and Initiatives

I am honored to serve as President of the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) for 2019. My first experience with the organization was 20 years ago as a graduate student at Texas A&M. I had an opportunity to attend a healthcare conference hosted by “The Academy” and participate in the AAH STERIS Student Design Charrette. That experience had a profound impact on me and I am excited that my professional journey has led me to this moment.

I express my gratitude to Vincent Della Donna AIA, ACHA and Tom Clark, FAIA, EDAC for their presidential leadership over the past two years in the successful implementation of the strategic plan, ensuring strategy is maintained and administered. My term’s focus will be to Reinforce Connections at the very root of what we stand for—so we can remain relevant and continue to grow. We will achieve this through the following internal and external initiatives.

Reinforce Connection between Local and National
With a membership at-large of over 7,000, approximately 20% actively engage and benefit from the education and networking opportunities being offered at the national level. To increase our sphere of engagement, and enhance the member’s experience at an accessible level, the AAH Advisory Group (AG) was established. This group is comprised of leadership from national and local AAH chapters throughout the US. Together we can have a greater impact on our membership at large.

This year we will continue to reinforce the connection between AAH local chapters and national through:
  • Helping establish local chapters/ leadership in regions across the country not represented in the AG
  • Increasing active participation of national leadership in local chapter meetings
  • Providing resources related to education, visibility and operations
  • Creating a pathway to national leadership

Reinforce Connections with the Next Generation

The Academy’s legacy over the past seven decades has in large part been guided by distinguished members of the baby boomer generation. Today, we see a large cohort of millennials that will soon be ready to accept the leadership baton. Therefore, we are reviewing how the Academy is positioned to transition with and benefit from the next generation. While they have successfully engaged across various AAH committees and initiatives, giving them a seat at the table, this is only the beginning of significant opportunities to embrace the value our emerging professionals offer.

To shape the Academy’s future direction, this year we will:
  • Bring a heightened perspective of next generations to the board through active engagement with the AAH Next Gen Leadership
  • Expand the network by identifying a Next Gen Leader in each local AAH chapter
  • In collaboration with our partner organizations, create networking and education opportunities focused on the next generation

Reinforce Connection with the Healthcare Industry
As an authoritative voice of healthcare architects to the healthcare industry and others involved in creating healthcare environments, the Academy’s Outreach Committee will aim to make meaningful connections this year and reinforce their engagement with AAH through:
  • Joint creation of white papers, articles, conference presentations, webinars
  • Supporting research
  • Addressing policy issues

I am excited for what this year has in store and will continue to reinforce our mission…provide knowledge which supports healthy environments through education and networking… and vision…serving as the authoritative voice for the design of healthy environments. Please reach out to me at aah@aia.org should you have any thoughts or are looking for ways to make an impact through your own journey.


Tushar Gupta, AIA, NCARB
President, AIA Academy of Architecture for Health