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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 ...
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As I reflect on all that has been accomplished in 2018, I want to thank the AAH Board, Committee members, and the AIA staff for their dedication, hard work, and tireless efforts throughout the year. I introduced 2018 with a goal to ensure strategy is maintained and administered and 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… are realized. The tactics used to realize the goal were twofold: focus the AAH Board on strategy rather than operations and increase our relationships both internally (AIA) and externally. Strategy ...
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The AIA AAH STERIS Student Design Charrette is a 48-hour design charrette performed annually at the Healthcare Design Conference (HCD). This Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) program has been running consecutively for the last 30 years. The mission of the charrette is to promote health care education and encourage students to become health care professionals after graduation. This program has nurtured relationships and students into the health care architecture field through the sponsorship of STERIS and countless volunteers.  The AAH’s oversized thank you card shows how thankful people are to STERIS for the charrette through the years. This program ...
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"Learning never exhausts the mind." ~ Leonardo da Vinci As is the tradition each July, the Academy of Architecture for Health and American College of Healthcare Architects hold the annual Summer Leadership Summit (SLS). A venue created for learning, sharing, and networking, this year’s event focused on design success, and as usual, did not disappoint. With keynote speakers such as Dr. Paul Tang talking about artificial intelligence and its influence on the care process, to Kaiser Permanente talking about communities investing in healthcare; to the esteemed panel from the Center for Health Design emphasizing the influence of design on outcome measures; ...
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Our 2018 Summer Leadership Summit (SLS) Next Generation Scholars provided the Academy with a write up on their experiences of being a scholar and attending the SLS conference for the first time. By Caitlin Cashner, AIA | Payette I wrote in my letter to the scholarship committee that if I were given the opportunity to participate in the Summer Leadership Summit that I hoped to join a forum that allows for healthcare architects to zoom back out from the specifics of day-to-day tasks to understand the significant role our work plays in the built environment. The conference certainly provided that moment for me. Often during the presentations, I found ...
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In my travels, I meet many people who are deeply familiar with The Center for Health Design, and many others who have not yet heard of us. And very often, in the mix, are those who may have heard of us, but aren’t quite sure what we do. In this guest column, we’ve been asked to share with you who we are, what we do, and where we fit within the industry just in case you aren’t familiar with the full scope of The Center’s work. The Center for Health Design, is a non-profit 501c3 organization made up of passionate healthcare designers and allied professionals dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare through the design of the built environment. As a member-supported ...
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Excitement abounds for the  Academy's Next Generation (NextGen) Committee!  I’ve had the good fortune to observe their genuine excitement of career growth in healthcare through the committee’s monthly gathering “Passion: Health Design” led by committee chair, Southern Ellis of HKS. The online meeting showcases diverse case studies that clearly provide leadership opportunities and exposure to some amazing projects. Most recently, NexGen committee member Graham Sinclair of HKS shared “The Piedmont Marcus Heart & Vascular Center," a new bed tower addition to Piedmont Atlanta Hospital with 807,305 sf of new construction and 45,583 sf of renovations. Developed ...
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Dear colleagues, As we start the 21 st year of the Academy Journal , published by the AAH knowledge community, this edition includes two articles that support the enhancement of the built environment for healthcare. As the official publication of the Academy, the Journal publishes articles of particular interest to AIA members and the public involved in the fields of health care architecture, planning, design, research, and construction. The goal has always been to expand and promote awareness, educational exchange, and advancement of the overall project delivery process, building products, and medical progress that affects all involved in those ...
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Collaboration has several meanings, and in today’s workplace, has become the newest buzzword. According to a recent article in Harvard Business Review , they found that “agility at the point of execution is typically created through group-level networks such as account or new product development teams formed from employees drawn throughout the organization, lateral networks across core work processes, temporary teams and task forces formed to drive a critical organizational change or respond to a strategic threat, and communities of practice that enable organizations to enjoy true benefits of scale.” In my mind, this describes perfectly the work that the ...
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Every parent of a mid-teenager knows the right of passage enabled by a driver’s license. The anticipation begins a couple of years before, and parental panic embeds itself at the first solo excursion. While technically possible, driving without a license is both ill-advised and illegal. Practicing architecture also requires training and a demonstration of minimal competence against a dispassionate set of jurisdictionally established standards. While technically possible, practicing architecture without a license is both ill-advised and illegal. Practicing the specialty of healthcare architecture requires substantial specialized training, continuous education, ...
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The AAH Foundation's 6th annual networking reception is at the Adler Planetarium on Friday, July 27 from 6:30–9:30pm. The Adler has the premier night view of Chicago to be shared with friends, both old and new. This ‘interstellar party’ will have food, drinks, live music, as well as unique live and silent auction items to help raise funds for the Foundation's Architectural HC research. The auction items include: a vacation condominium, Eames chair, light sabers, Phillies box seat tickets, jewelry and more. We are still looking for sponsors as well as memorable silent auction items. This event has become the social event of the Summer Leadership Summit ...
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I am honored to serve as your President for 2018. Many thanks to the work accomplished by our board and past presidents Joan Suchomel and Tom Clark. In just two short years Joan led us through an intensive strategic planning process and Tom guided us toward a successful implementation of that plan. My goal is to ensure strategy is maintained and administered and 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… are realized. To accomplish this goal, we will be focusing on two key tactics this year 1). Strategy vs. Operations ...
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Welcome to 2018 and this first edition of the Academy Update Newsletter! While the bears may have been hibernating this winter, the Communications Committee has been hard at work planning for this year’s social media, quarterly updates and other communication activities. Our board liaison, and new member of the AAH Board this year, is J. Todd Robinson ; welcome Todd! The entire committee is looking forward to your leadership and partnership to bring relevant, timely and valuable information to all AAH Knowledge Community Members. This year’s President, Vincent DellaDonna , has also been busy the past few months welcoming new board members and committee chairs, ...
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The AIA-AAH NextGen Committee began the year with a lively a discussion to answer this question: “What defines success for this generation in our profession?” The comments and topics mentioned on the committee call will inform the AIA/AAH Emerging Professionals Forum presentation by Tushar Gupta (AAH President – Elect) and Southern Ellis (AAH NextGen Committee Chair) at the ASHE PDC Summit in Nashville, TN. The forum will focus on engaging the next generation of health design leaders and equipping them to advance the built environment. Join the Conversation at ASHE PDC . This session occurs Monday, March 26, 2018 at 7-8am CST. In an effort to continue to ...
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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 ...
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As 2017 comes to an end and we excitedly look towards the New Year we look at some recent changes in the codes and standards of health care. This year the ICC, NFPA 101 – Life Safety Code, and NFPA 99 – Health Care Facilities Code released their 2018 editions. The Academy of Architecture for Health is in the process of creating white papers to compare significant changes between the editions as they relate to healthcare. Look out for their release by mid-2018.   In the meantime, here are some links we find useful in searching the adoption of codes by jurisdiction. ICC interactive map for State Building Code Adoption (not including local amendments): ...
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The AIA AAH STERIS Student Design Charrette is a 48-hour design Charrette performed annually at the Healthcare Design Conference. This AAH program was first established in 1989 and has been running for 29 consecutive years. The mission of the Charrette is to encourage talented architectural students into the practice for health, and to promote architectural education that will contribute to the practice of architecture for health. With the sponsorship of STERIS and countless volunteers this program has fostered relationships and guided students into healthcare architecture.  Student Design Charrette participants with STERIS sponsors 2017 I became interested ...
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A Case for Constant Change Autumn reminds us that change happens; every year the leaves on the trees change from deep shades to bright colors, and the degree to which they become more vibrant is affected by the amount of sunlight and rain. No sooner do we notice the changing leaves, but are reminded that “conference season” is upon us; namely, the Healthcare Design Expo and Conference. Co-produced with AAH and the Center for Health Design , this year it was held in Orlando again, and was full of tours, sessions, keynotes and networking opportunities; all the same activities as in previous years. Yet, change was a constant theme; the status of the ...
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President’s letter

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This AAH Update is the fourth and final issue of the year, and it shows our progress from past versions. Not only does it look different, but we are gradually increasing the breadth and depth of content in the newsletter. This reflects a broader goal adopted within our Strategic Plan last year; to deliver more knowledge more effectively to Academy members.  Here are a few ways we are progressing: First, we are networking more effectively with 20 other committees in the Academy to announce events and application deadlines in a timely way. Second, we are networking with partner organizations to share relevant knowledge, news and opportunities from those ...
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As we roll toward 2018, I can say with confidence and gratitude that the Academy of Architecture for Health board is strong, and well-positioned to continue guiding the Academy forward. The Strategic Plan will be in its second year of implementation, building on the great progress made in 2017 toward a higher level of service to our members and to the greater healthcare design community. This is where I take my leave, after four years on the board, knowing that things are in good hands. I will miss the day-to-day interaction with my fine colleagues, but I won’t be a stranger; I still have a few projects I’ve promised to help with. My duties in sponsorship ...
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