Webinar: From Centralized Nursing Unit to a Decentralized Nursing Unit with Academic Learning Space

When:  Dec 8, 2020 from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM (ET)

From Centralized Nursing Unit to a Decentralized Nursing Unit with Academic Learning Space

This webinar is sponsored by the Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) and provides 1 HSW credit.


The new $550 million SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital marked a transition from an existing out-of-date hospital with narrow hallways and centralized nursing units to a state-of-the art academic medical hospital design. During the planning phase, the design team looked at the hospital system’s existing care models and determined the standard  inpatient unit design – even with a decentralized nursing unit - was not the right fit. The presenters will share the differences between different models evaluated, lessons learned from mockups as well as anecdotal feedback from clinical staff and patients after being in operation since September 1st.


After participating in this webinar attendees will:

  1. Discuss the differences between how community hospital and academic medical centers function in the nursing unit.
  2. Compare inpatient room design element pros and cons.
  3. Understand the differences in the types of patients cared for in academic medical centers versus community hospitals.
  4. Learn about the technology incorporated at a state-of-the-art academic medical center inpatient unit.




This session is part of the Case Study Series by the Academy of Architecture for Health.  The web-based 60-minute seminars intended to introduce members of healthcare-centric practices, in all stages of professional development, to case studies of relevant content, providing access to data and critical analysis of elements critical to the project’s success.


Mike Schnaare, AIA, NCARB
Lawrence Group

Mike Schnaare, AIA, NCARB is president of Lawrence Group. As part of the executive team, he leads the firm’s design practice, which averages $30 million annual revenue. Mike specializes in healthcare design with 25 years of experience in managing award-winning healthcare projects and designing creative yet practical healing environments and wellness facilities. He co-leads the firm’s healthcare studio, managing more than 500 million dollars in healthcare construction over the last five years.  He is a registered architect in 22 states and a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE).

Kelly Baumer
SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital

Kelly Baumer is the vice president of specialty services for SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. She is responsible for strategic service line growth and operations for the hospital’s key service lines of transplant, trauma, and oncology services. Kelly oversaw the master development plan for the new SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital which opened in September of 2020. She was instrumental in developing the concept and operationalizing the SSM Health St. Louis Transfer Center which opened in January of 2019. This center accepts and facilitates transfers of over 20,000 patients per year to an SSM Health St. Louis hospital and is a resource for other hospitals in the region.

 Kelly started her career as a physical therapist and over the past 30 years has had increasing leadership roles in healthcare operations and strategy at one of only two academic medical centers in the St. Louis metropolitan area. She has won numerous awards and accolades in quality and excellence for her work in health care.

Kelly holds a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy.  She is actively involved in community activities and is the current chair of the board of directors for the YWCA in St. Louis.


Michelle Yates, APR, EDAC, FSMPS
Lawrence Group

Michelle Yates, APR, EDAC, FSMPS is director of marketing for Lawrence Group, a national design and project delivery firm headquartered in St. Louis. She has spoken locally, regionally and nationally and has written articles on a variety of marketing topics. She is a past president of CREW-St. Louis and SMPS-St. Louis and currently serves on the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health Webinar Committee.