The Center for Health Design's (CHD) board of directors may have appeared to be stagnant with many of the same individuals serving for years. This has been a deliberate governance structure that gave our small nonprofit organization continuity and stability for many of its early years. In a profession that has been growing slowly, the field of leaders has been spread among a few professional organizations, many with overlapping interests. Eight years ago, Len Berry joined CHD's board and led the charge to create a governance infrastructure. In the new structure, a staff-run organization was implemented and term limits were established for volunteer board directors. Many of the people who have become synonymous with CHD will now cycle off the board, making way for a new class of leadership. In 2010, Len and Kirk Hamilton transitioned off the board. Although relieved of their board duties, Len and Kirk remain CHD friends and resources forever.

Len Berry, PhD

Len, who served CHD from 2002 to 2010, is a distinguished professor of marketing and holds the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

He is also professor of humanities in medicine at the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center College of Medicine. During the 2001-2002 academic term, he served as a visiting scientist at Mayo Clinic, studying healthcare service. He is the founder of Texas A&M's Center for Retailing Studies and served as its director from 1982 to June 2000. He also is a former national president of the American Marketing Association.

Len's most recent book is “Management Lessons From Mayo Clinic,” published by McGraw Hill. He is also the author of other groundbreaking works published by The Free Press, including: “Discovering the Soul of Service-The Nine Drivers of Sustainable Business Success” (1999); “On Great Service: A Framework for Action” (1995); “Marketing Services: Competing Through Quality” (1991); and “Delivering Quality Service: Balancing Customer Perceptions and Expectations” (1990).

Len has been identified as the most frequent contributor to the services marketing literature in the United States. He has twice been recognized with the highest honors Texas A&M bestows on a faculty member: the Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching in 1990, and the Distinguished Achievement Award in Research in 1996. Also in 1996, he received the Career Contributions to Services Marketing Award presented by the American Marketing Association, and in 2000, he received the Outstanding Marketing Educator Award from the Academy of Marketing Science and the Pinnacle Award as Marketing Educator of the Year from Sales and Marketing Executives International. In February 2007, he received the Distinguished Marketing Educator Award from the American Marketing Association.

Len's role on CHD's board has been as our sage. As his credentials show, he has much experience in the delivery of service quality. Often, when discussion occurred around the board table, Len always sat patiently allowing the group to work through an issue and then quietly offered a conclusion that was perfectly succinct and aligned with our core values and service quality. For that sage wisdom we owe Len a debt of gratitude. The organization has matured nicely under his leadership. In his capacity as chair of the nominating and governance committee, he served as a wonderful sounding board as we struggled through some critical issues, and we will miss his insightfulness. He also contributed to many of our board-driven white papers, particularly in the development of the Fable Hospital that makes the business case for a better building.

Kirk Hamilton, FAIA, FACHA

Kirk, who served CHD from 1997 to 2010, is a fellow of the Center for Health Systems & Design and associate professor of architecture at Texas A&M, where his research area is the relationship of evidence-based design of health facilities and measurable organizational performance. He is also a founding principal of emeritus at WHR Architects in Houston and Dallas.

A board-certified healthcare architect with 30 years of experience in hospital design, Kirk was elevated to the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) College of Fellows in recognition of his advocacy for excellence in architecture for health, innovations in design, research, and visions of the hospital of the future. His experience includes professional training in facilitation, graphic recording, conflict resolution, and small-group dynamics through the American Leadership Forum, and a master's degree in organizational development from Pepperdine University.

Kirk is a past president of the AIA's Academy of Architecture for Health, as well as past president and a founding regent of the American College of Healthcare Architects. He was the 2003 chair of the Society for Critical Care Medicine's design committee, and serves on the faculty of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's collaboratives on improving flow in the acute care setting and transforming care at the bedside.

Kirk is a frequent speaker and lecturer on health facility design. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including “Innovations in Planning for Healthcare,” “UNIT 2000,” and “ICU 2010.” He also has taught courses on healthcare design.

Kirk represented the design community on CHD's board with the experience of understanding how professional practitioners executed healthcare client programs. He fully understood the obstacles in delivering the best solution and could clearly see the tools needed to implement the best evidence-based solution. He was a master of the flip chart and could solve any problem the board came up with in a simple graphic solution. Evidence-based Design Accreditation and Certification was Kirk's brainchild; he rolled up his sleeves with the staff and volunteers to develop and launch a very successful accreditation program. Kirk is taking time off from some of his volunteer activities to pursue his PhD. And if his writing and editing for the Health Environments Research & Design Journal aren't enough, once he is done with his PhD program, he will emerge as even more of a leader in an industry that is so grateful for his insights.

Both Len and Kirk have left their mark on The Center for Health Design and all of us who have had the pleasure of working with them. We wish them well in their future endeavors and will call upon them as we have come to rely on their wisdom. HCD

Rosalyn Cama, FASID, EDAC, is Board Chair for the Center for Health Design located in Concord, California. For more information, visit Healthcare Design 2011 March;11(3):10-12