Hutlock: Obviously you influence and inspire many people in the healthcare design field. Who influences and inspires you in your work?
Levin: I found my way to this work right out of college through a friendship I had with a man named Tony Torrice. Tony was a designer whose work served children, the physically disabled, and the homeless. As a student, I was traveling around the country the speaking to other students, rallying them to get involved in our profession and use design as a tool to improve the world. Tony and I seemed to frequently be in the same place at the same time, and as I heard him talk about his work, it became clear to me that when I graduated I wanted to focus my career on serving those who too frequently don’t have a voice: children and seniors. I have been able to do that and much, much more through my work here at The Center. I credit my friendship with Tony for planting that seed.
From Tony to today, I have been blessed with many friendships and partnerships in this industry that have taught me, inspired me, and compelled me on. This is especially true of past and current CHD board members. From the early days of my career, I have had the opportunity to work next to and learn from some of the greatest minds in our industry. It is a rare opportunity to have access to such great thinkers at such a young age and it really shaped who I became as a leader.
And of course, I can’t leave out my parents. I used to say that I was compelled to change what healthcare facilities looked like before my parents were at a point in their lives where they might have to avail themselves of a long-term care facility. Well, they are in their 80s and happily still living independently in the home I grew up in, and now I’m starting to realize that my focus has turned to creating models that will support me as I age. Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you.
Debra Levin, EDAC: