We can take a broad view of our industry, analyzing the political climate and cataloging trends and shifting consumer attitudes. And we can take a micro view, delving deep into very specific projects or the mind of one architect or facility planner or engineer. As we at Healthcare Design put together articles and conference sessions, we aim to do both, in order to cover as much ground as possible so our audience gets the full picture.

Considering regional issues adds another layer of perspective, and it’s an approach we’re embracing in 2014. Last year, we held our first Healthcare Design Academy in Dallas, calling upon high-level speakers and facilities in and around Texas for a day and a half of peer-to-peer education. All the sessions had a communal quality, with a more conversational, casual, back-and-forth quality than you typically might see. We toured the massive Parkland Hospital facility under construction, where the design team answered countless questions and we all snapped photos every few feet.

It went so well that this August we’re heading back to Dallas—around the time that Parkland’s construction will be nearing completion. And we’ve added two more regional events to the calendar so that other areas of the country can experience the Academy’s unique vibe in their own backyards.

The first one is coming up soon:  From Feb. 27-March 1, healthcare design professionals in the Washington, D.C., area will convene at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in North Bethesda, Md. Speakers from the Department of Defense, NXT Health, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, among others, will share insight into the Affordable Care Act’s effect on new projects, details of LEED v4, and an inside look at recent military projects.

Next, the Healthcare Design Academy will hit Portland, Ore., June 19-20, followed by the return to Dallas August 7-8. We’re still working out the details for these later events; keep an eye on www.hcdmagazine.com/hcd-academy as the year progresses (you can register there, as well). Do you work in one of these regions? Let us know what facilities and issues you want to learn more about, and we’ll see what we can do. We hope to see you there.