As this article goes to press, we are on the brink of a national presidential election, and the Olympics are only a few weeks behind us. The presidential candidates both have their eyes on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and the Olympic competitors pinned their hopes on a gold medal.

Both the presidential race and the Olympics require considerable preparation—in calculating odds, examining the competition, measuring accomplishments, and honing the appropriate skills needed to win. By the time you read this, you will know exactly what failed for those who experienced the agony of defeat and what created the magic for those who felt the thrill of victory.

These competitions are not much different from an evidence-based approach to design. Each of your projects has its sights set on a beautifully designed facility but—like the polished campaign of a politician or the buffed body of an athlete—without measurable results, the loser goes home empty-handed.

So, what are your facility's measurable results? They can be related to health, economic, or organizational outcomes. Did you know that there is a very deliberate process, known as evidence-based design, that will lead you down a path where you can compete in categories that will contribute to improved outcomes in each of these areas? If you are still confused about how to organize an evidenced-based approach to your project, then let me invite you to learn more through The Center for Health Design.

It is our hope that you are reading this article in Houston, at our HEALTHCARE DESIGN .04 Conference, where you will be coached on precisely how to take home the gold! William McDonough, FAIA, an internationally renowned designer and proponent of “ecologically, socially, and economically intelligent” architecture and planning, is a featured speaker at this year's conference. Bill will speak on “A Safe and Healthy World by Design.” In addition, Bruce S. Rabin, MD, PhD, professor of Pathology and Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, is speaking on “From PsychoNeuroImmunology to PsychoNeuroArchitecture.” Many other renowned “coaches” will be available to hone your team's skills for winning results.

If you cannot be with us this year, then plan to stay connected to The Center through our new Web site at If you would like a closer association with The Center, you can learn more from our Web site about joining our “Community of Affiliates.” Because we are an organization whose mission is to transform healthcare settings into healing environments that improve outcomes through the creative use of evidence-based design, we offer many resources that provide education, access to existing research findings, project research assistance, our well-known “Pebble Project” research initiative, and available technical assistance. Like any seasoned politician or well-trained athlete, you need to follow a rigorous program before you complete your buildings. I, along with our esteemed Board of Directors, invite you to become more involved in learning about how to design and build a hospital of Olympian proportions using an evidenced-based approach through our available resources.

Let the competitions begin! HD

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