A. Ray Pentecost III, DrPH, FAIA, FACHA, LEED AP
Vice President, Director of Healthcare Architecture, and Design Principal, Clark Nexsen Architecture and Engineering
A. Ray Pentecost has demonstrated throughout his career that when given the opportunity to lead and influence healthcare design, he will. He has done so and continues to do so with great passion from leadership positions that have national and international influence. His national leadership roles on the Board of Directors (and as president from 2009 to 2010) of the American Institute of Architects Academy of Architecture for Health (AIA AAH) and the Board of Regents of the American College of Healthcare Architects, his international leadership as president of the International Academy for Design and Health, and his role as co-chairman of the AIA’s America’s Design and Health Initiative demonstrate that Pentecost’s peers are inviting him to take positions of tremendous influence in the healthcare design industry.
Combining his training in the field of public health and research with his passion for architecture, Pentecost has been heavily focused on identifying linkages between design and health. Presentations made in the United States and internationally, as well as articles written on the subject, have served to help elevate this issue to prominence.
Pentecost has also been an outspoken advocate for the use of research in design, a practice that is changing the way healthcare facilities, and indeed other building types, are designed. His leadership and advocacy of healthy design as a national priority while serving as president of the AIA AAH was codified when the AIA AAH board approved revised bylaws including a mission statement that embraced not only healthcare design but the design of healthy communities. The result has been a broader perspective and scope of service for the leadership of the nation’s premier membership organization for healthcare architects.
Todd Hutlock: What sort of advice would you offer someone who is just starting a career in the healthcare design industry?
A. Ray Pentecost III, DrPH, FAIA, FACHA, LEED AP: I suppose I would offer two suggestions, the first a comment on who you become, and the second on what you learn to do.
The first suggestion would be to become an expert as soon as possible in your career. There are basically two paths to becoming an expert. One path is easily understood using the analogy of a children’s game. Many of us will remember the childhood game of “king of the hill”; picture the kid on top of the hill as the expert in his/ her field who fought hard against “look-alikes” trying to climb the same hill doing the same thing, and this illustrates one way to the “top” in your career. This is a path to expert status that is exhausting, time consuming, and part of a cycle of activity and challenge that is never ending. Of particular note is the harsh reality that not everyone even makes it to the top, for a host of reasons, including some who arguably even deserve to be there, and fewer still are able to stay there. At the end of the day, you look very little different from your peers, or for that matter, the next set of challengers.