Jennie Evans, RN, BS, EDAC, LEED AP, Lean Six Sigma CE
2013-2014 president, Nursing Institute of Healthcare Design (NIHD); associate principal and senior vice president, HKS (Dallas)

Who she is: Evans began her career 27 years ago as a bone marrow transplant/ICU nurse in Canada and later transitioned to a role at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, where she served as the clinical liaison on a major ICU expansion and bed tower renovation—a position that inspired a passion to improve healthcare environments for patients, families, and staff. Meanwhile, NIHD was created as a grassroots organization in 2005 and officially launched as a not-for-profit association in 2010. It has since created a respected industry niche for clinicians involved in the healthcare design process, providing education, research, and advocacy. Evans took the helm of the group as president for 2013-2014, a role that assimilated well with her current job as leader of clinical operations at HKS, where she’s worked since 2005 on projects in pediatric and adult inpatient settings as well as ambulatory care environments.

Year in review: Over the course of Evans’ term, NIHD made great strides in redefining its mission and vision, restructuring organizationally to position its members as specialists able to share information—and provide a valuable design perspective—with the industry at large. Part of that growth was achieved by NIHD spearheading a clinical track as part of the educational sessions offered at the 2014 Healthcare Design Conference. Also, NIHD achieved the most highly attended preconference event in 2013, a session that brought architects, clinicians, and hospital administrators together for a lecture on Lean methodology followed by a hands-on rapid modeling activity—all in an effort to break down barriers between industry sectors and create a dialogue that inspired great design. Elsewhere, Evans took on several speaking engagements, with particular interest in those involving students, such as appearances at Cornell University’s Department of Design and Environmental Analysis and at Texas A&M’s School of Architecture.

What’s next? Now, as past-president of NIHD, Evans plans to develop opportunities for collaboration and innovation between the association and other design organizations and institutions.

The HCD 10:

  • Architect: Paul Strohm, senior vice president and director of healthcare, HOK (St. Louis)
  • Researcher: Upali Nanda, vice president and director of research, HKS (Houston); executive director of the Center for Advanced Design Research and Education (CADRE)
  • Interior designer: Christine Hester Devens, associate principal and interior project designer, AECOM (Minneapolis)
  • Association/foundation executive: Jennie Evans, 2013-2014 president, Nursing Institute of Healthcare Design (NIHD)
  • Facility manager: Sean Gouvin, director of facilities planning and engineering operations, Baystate Health (Springfield, Mass.)
  • Educator: George Mann, Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA, Endowed Professor of Health Facilities Design, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas)
  • Provider: Matthew Gutwein, president and CEO, Health & Hospital Corp. of Marion County, and Dr. Lisa E. Harris, CEO, Eskenazi Health (Indianapolis)
  • Building professional: Sam Moses, superintendent, Balfour Beatty Construction (Dallas)
  • Rising star: David Grandy, associate vice president and managing director of strategic innovation, HDR (Omaha, Neb.)
  • Organization of the year: ZGF Architects LLP