Academy of Architecture for Health

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The Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) provides knowledge which supports the design of healthy environments by creating education and networking opportunities for members of – and those touched by – the health care architectural profession.

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From the President's Desk

By Ellen M. Taylor AIA posted 12-07-2022 11:48 AM


As we close another year, it’s a great time for reflection and acknowledging our accomplishments for 2022.

A Reset Year

The Academy (AAH) last mapped out a strategic plan in 2016, so we took the chance to review and update it. We adjusted some alignments for our board liaisons, consolidating our many recognition programs – awards, scholarships, and fellowships, and grouping our programs for networking connections within our community – the Components Council (formerly known as the Advisory Group), the Colleague to Colleague (C2C) Mentoring Program, and the Next Gen Committee, which had their visible relaunch at the 2022 Healthcare Design Expo and Conference (HCD). All our committees continue to evaluate how they can incorporate both climate action and EDI into the day-to-day thinking of their work. We updated our Strategic Plan and Operations Manual to reflect these changes and look forward to the synergies that can be gained.

Educational Events

While the global pandemic has not been officially declared over, I think we can safely say we’ve learned to adjust to a COVID-19 world. We re-engaged with many of our partners at three (!) in-person events. It seems like quite a while since we last had the chance to attend the ASHE PDC Summit (International Summit & Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design & Construction), the Summer Leadership Summit (SLS) with the American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA/the College), and HCD as face-to-face events. Everyone was energized by being physically together, having conversations that just don’t happen the same way virtually.

It was rewarding to see our next generation of professionals display both their talent and enthusiasm at the PDC Student Design Challenge and the HCD Student Design Charrette. Whether the multi-disciplinary teams at PDC, or the school-based teams at HCD, each group developed their own unique approach. It was especially invigorating to see students who had never been exposed to health care design see the potential.

Our Sponsors

While the pandemic resulted in organizational changes across many companies, we developed some new relationships over this past year and are especially grateful to so many of our long-term supporters: Steris for the HCD Design Charrette; McCarthy Construction for SLS and the PDC Student Design Challenge; and MillerKnoll (formerly Herman Miller) for the HCD scholarships that support emerging professionals. It is always of paramount importance to make educational opportunities available for this group of deserving recipients.

Our Affiliations and the Pillars of Health care Architecture

We also added partners to our “pillars.” As the roles of the AAH (networking and education), ACHA (certification), the FHER (research sponsorship), and FGI (codes) have been increasingly clarified over the past several years, it was time to recognize the common goals and audiences of two other relationships that have developed. We adopted more inclusivity in the “pillars” by adding both the Center for Health Design (CHD) and the Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design (NIHD) to advance our collective goal for improved health and health care.

A Thank You

The AAH has a long history of more than 75 years as a Knowledge Community, and it has been an honor to serve as President this past year. I am so indebted to the many volunteers and AIA staff that make the AAH what it is today and the most immediate past leadership of Brenna Costello. I look forward to the continued evolution in the coming years under the leadership of Kenneth Webb (2023), Michelle Trott (2024), and Southern Ellis (2025)!


Ellen Taylor, PhD, AIA, MBA, EDAC

Ellen Taylor  headshot