Laura Poltronieri, AIA
Principal, Poltronieri Tang & Associates (PT&A; Swarthmore, Pa.)

Who she is: As the founding principal of PT&A, Laura Poltronieri has made a name for herself and her small firm that focuses exclusively on healthcare facilities serving children, infants, and mothers. PT&A has worked on numerous independent planning and design projects, as well as collaborated with global architectural firms on national and international projects. Poltronieri balances her healthcare architecture practice with independent evidence-based design research, speaking, and writing. She also served as a member of the specialty subgroup to draft the new children’s hospital chapter of the 2014 edition of the Facility Guideline Institute’s Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities, contributing as an expert in children’s architecture and design.

Year in review: As principal-in-charge on all of the firm’s major projects, Poltronieri takes a hands-on approach, initiating and writing all research proposals as well as follow-up publications. Her firm was involved in numerous pediatric planning projects, including serving as the pediatric healthcare planning and design specialists on the 252,000-square-foot Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, designed by Payette Architects and completed in February 2013. She also partnered with landscape architects Mahan Rykiel Associates on The Children's Playground on the grounds of the Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which won a 2013 Excellence in Construction Award from the Metro Washington Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors. In addition to these projects, she contributed two chapters to the upcoming book “Pediatric and Neonatal Critical Care,” which includes a summary of PT&A’s research on PICU environments at four children’s hospitals.

What’s next: Poltronieri is kick-starting the year with two new research initiatives: one will examine how NICU unit design influences nursing stress levels and the other will investigate design approaches to help reduce delirium in ICU patients. She’s also continuing her work at the Children’s Inn at NIH and Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

THE HCD 10 (click any winner's name for more information):

  • OwnerDavid Schuller, vice president of medical center expansion and outreach, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (Columbus, Ohio)
  • ArchitectLaura Poltronieri, principal, Poltronieri Tang & Associates (Swarthmore, Pa.)
  • Association/foundation executiveDouglas Erickson, CEO, Facility Guidelines Institute (Dallas)
  • Interior designerCarolyn BaRoss, design principal, Perkins+Will (New York)
  • ResearcherSheila Bosch, director of research, Gresham, Smith and Partners (Tampa, Fla.)
  • Construction executiveCarlos Gonzalez, project director, Clark/McCarthy, A Joint Venture (Costa Mesa, Calif.)
  • EducatorJames Shraiky, assistant professor, director of healthcare design initiatives, Arizona State University (Tempe, Ariz.)
  • Facility managerMitch Goplen, vice president and director of facility services and construction, Billings Clinic (Billings, Mont.)
  • Rising star: David Ruthven, co-lead and creative director, NXT Health (New York)
  • Firm of the year: Perkins+Will (worldwide)