Mitch Goplen, EDAC
Vice president of facility services, Billings Clinic (Billings, Mont.)

Who he is: Overseeing more than 1 million square feet of facility space, Goplen is responsible for more than 20 expansion and renovation projects at Billings Clinic over the last two years. Armed with extensive knowledge of design and construction, he’s an advocate of evidence-based design in the planning process and a supporter of The Center for Health Design’s Pebble Project, registering two current Billings Clinic projects under the research initiative. His hands-on approach also includes weekly involvement in facility planning meetings with the hospital’s CEO, CFO, and senior executive team members, and the organization of design teams that include in-house Lean experts.

Year in review: Under Goplen’s leadership, Billings recently opened the first phase of a 13-room operating suite and a breast center. With the growing focus on reducing hospital-associated infections and patient readmissions, he’s made infection control a priority on all projects, involving on-staff experts as well as consultants and contractors in the education process.

What’s next: Goplen will keep his plate full in 2014 with numerous expansion and renovation projects at the hospital, clinic sites, and affiliate hospitals, including a 24-bed ICU, outpatient cardiac center, and a new inpatient cardiac unit. This spring will mark the completion of an expanded family birth center that includes two new ORs and an expanded and renovated NICU, which will be followed by the renovation of surgical services and an expansion of surgical suites. He’s also overseeing construction of a new hospital in Livingston, Mont., and four new ExpressCare retail clinics.

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)