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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 healthcare architectural profession.

Editor's Corner: September 2019

By Kimberly N. Montague AIA posted 09-19-2019 16:00


AAH Editor's Corner

By Kimberly Montague, AIA

In September, I had the honor and privilege of attending both the HCD Forum, and the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit. Both conferences had goals for creating learning opportunities and exploring new paths to leadership; with a heavy emphasis on professional networking. What I found the most striking were the conversations I heard in the hallways, in the sessions, and at the keynotes: we are at a pivotal place in our profession, with more emphasis on technology, and less on the in-person conversations that can create meaningful, lasting, and impactful relationships. We live in a digital world, one where connections are oftentimes made via a virtual interaction. Our healthcare systems are using telehealth to connect with patients in a virtual setting; technology is ever-present in our society in a variety of ways, and like it or not, it is here to stay. 

One keynote in particular, Priya Parker, talked about the “Art of Gathering” (if you are interested, the book is available on ). While this is not a sales pitch for her book, I was reminded how important in-person gatherings become, especially in this era of Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. This book reminds us that each gathering, no matter how big or small, should have a specific PURPOSE. What is the purpose for your next gathering? Why is this team/group/committee/family gathering occurring? What do we hope to accomplish, and how can we get there? 

Both of these events increased my belief in attendance at conferences. We are all busy, and budgets are tight, however, the importance of human interactions (to borrow from a
Planetree tenet) is more crucial now than ever. With the Healthcare Design Conference scheduled for November, perhaps we can all examine the purpose, and our reason for attending. And, set aside a bit of time to network, connect and strengthen our industry relationships. Will you be attending? 

Yours in health,


Kimberly Montague, AIA
AAH Communications Committee Chair