Webinar: Big Ideas for Small Facilities: Innovations in Rural Hospital Design

When:  Nov 12, 2019 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM (ET)

Big Ideas for Small Facilities: Innovations in rural hospital design

Earn 1 AIA HSW/LU | Tuesday, November 12, 2019 | 2–3pm ET


While urban health systems are often credited with driving healthcare innovation, rural and Critical Access Hospitals can also be fertile ground for new ideas.  The staffing and funding shortages common in rural environments can inspire creative design solutions that push the boundaries of traditional healthcare programming and planning, leveraging space and staff in new ways.  This session will showcase several recent hospital design innovations – such as “universal platforms” – that have been spearheaded by rural providers.  

Through these case studies, we will answer the following questions:

1) What are the benefits – financial, operational and experiential – of these programming and planning innovations? 

2) How can project teams navigate building code constraints that may challenge implementation of these innovative ideas while ensuring the highest level of safety for building occupants? 

3) What processes and tools were used to translate creative healthcare delivery concepts into concrete planning solutions?

Learning objectives

After participating in this webinar attendees will:

  1. Understand how innovative hospital planning solutions are supporting the delivery of essential healthcare services in the country’s most remote and financially challenged regions.
  2. Learn how these planning solutions can minimize construction cost and encourage long-term operational flexibility – in facilities of all sizes and locations.
  3. Recognize potential building code-driven roadblocks in implementing these planning approaches and learn how to navigate them without compromising occupant safety.
  4. Become familiar with processes and tools to engage hospital staff in developing creative healthcare delivery concepts and translating them into hospital planning solutions.

Ideal audience

This session is part of our Case Study Series, 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.

Education level



Amy Douma, AIA, LEED AP

As a Design Principal with HGA, Amy Douma works closely with healthcare clients to create facilities that advance care delivery while reflecting the unique character of their communities. An advocate of research-based design, she leads HGA’s partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Consortium for Research Practices and encourages industry integration of innovative technologies, materials and processes. Her work has been recognized through national and regional awards, and she is a frequent presenter at national conferences.

Kara Freihoefer, PhD, NCIDQ, EDAC, LEED AP

Kara specializes in applying evidence-based design principles to inform design decisions and project outcomes. She serves as the co-chair of HGA’s Research Council where she helps spearhead research initiatives across all disciplines firm-wide. Kara has multiple publications in Health Environments, Research and Design Journal and is a speaker at national healthcare and design conferences. Her integrated approach to applying research into project work has been recognized with several Evidence-Based Design Touchstone Awards by The Center for Health Design and Certificates of Research Excellence (CORE) by Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA).

GoToWebinar Platform Troubleshooting

If you have had trouble seeing the screen during past webinars: 1) download the latest version of Java beforehand and 2) try logging out and logging back in. If you have trouble listening via computer speakers, try using the telephone call-in number.

View the Presentation Files
When available, you can download a copy of the presentation and the Q&A here. A PDF of the presentation will be posted prior to the live webinar, and the Q&A will be posted after the webinar.

Report AIA Continuing Education
Continuing Education hours are only offered during the live event, and only to AIA members. A link to a survey will be provided both at the end of the webinar and in a follow-up email sent one hour after the webinar. This survey must be completed in order to receive credit. AIA members will have their credit recorded within two weeks.

PLEASE NOTE: Each AIA member or IDP record holder needs to fill out their own survey individually. The survey will close 48 hours after the conclusion of the presentation.

Please send your questions, comments and feedback to: knowledgecommunities@aia.org.