The Center for Health Design is pleased to be associated with Clean Design and Operations and its publisher, Vendome Group, LLC. Environmental sustainability has long been of interest to us and is one of the core values that we support and promote in all the work we do.

For those of you who don't know us, The Center is a leading nonprofit research, education, and advocacy organization of forward-thinking healthcare, design, and construction professionals who are leading the quest to improve the quality of healthcare facilities.

Our mission is to transform healthcare settings into healing environments that improve outcomes through the creative use of evidence-based design—a concept we introduced to the healthcare and design industry almost 10 years ago. We envision a future in which healing environments are recognized as a vital part of therapeutic treatment, and where the design of healthcare settings contributes to health and does not add to the burden of stress.

Those who have chosen to join our Community of Affiliates help support and nurture our mission and vision. They are truly the leaders in this industry—dedicated professionals and organizations working to make a difference.

The Center's work is broken down into four categories: research, education, advocacy, and resources. Since 1993, we have initiated research on various topics that connect the built environment to the quality of healthcare. Our latest initiatives are a series of issue papers funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) summarizing research on key design topics; six white papers—also funded by the RWJF and produced with Health Care Without Harm—on various topics relating to environmental sustainability; and the Pebble Project research initiative, the purpose of which is to create a ripple effect in the healthcare community by providing researched and documented examples of healthcare organizations whose facility design has made a difference in their quality of care, as well as their financial performance.

We provide education through annual conferences such as HEALTHCARE DESIGN, Healthcare Design magazine, and now Clean Design magazine—all produced by Vendome in association with The Center. We are also currently producing an executive program with Turner Healthcare called “The Business Case for Better Buildings” that is touring the country. This year, we are launching a new conference in conjunction with Vendome called “Environments for Aging,” scheduled for April 23–24 in Baltimore.

As an advocate for standards changes within the various accrediting and regulatory agencies, we are actively engaged in ongoing initiatives with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the American Institute of Architects, and others. We also advocate for good design and industry “changemakers” through the various awards programs we sponsor with partners such as Contract magazine, the HEALTHCARE DESIGN conference, and Starizon.

Finally, we offer a number of different resources for healthcare and design professionals. Our Web site has all sorts of information for the community that we help support, including research reports, papers, articles, booklists, job listings, RFP/RFQ listings, Web site links, lists of exemplary facilities, product resources, and more. We also provide expert advice through our Educational Consulting services and CEU courses, and every day, The Center's staff answers questions and provides free information to healthcare and design professionals all over the world.

We invite you to check us out at http://www.healthdesign.org. Of particular interest are the six white papers we recently produced with Health Care Without Harm. These papers, which explore the environmental impact hospitals have on their patients, staff, and community, were presented to a select group of healthcare and design leaders in Hackensack, New Jersey, in September 2006 at a conference titled “Designing the 21st Century Hospital: Environmental Leadership for Healthier Patients and Facilities.” A Webcast of the conference, as well as the papers, can be accessed on our Web site. Excerpts of the papers will also appear in Clean Design, starting in this issue with Gary Cohen's First Do No Harm (pg. 25).

Let us know how else we can help you in your quest to be green.

The Center for Health Design is located in Concord, California.

For more information, visit http://www.healthdesign.org.