The HEALTHCARE DESIGN.08 conference was yet again another great success. As I write this editorial, I have had some time to exhale from a very busy four days in Washington, D.C. On a selfish level, I love the conference because it is a time to catch up with colleagues, clients, and manufacturers' representatives—many of whom have become good friends. We all have a passion for designing facilities that impact outcomes, so sharing what we have done since we last saw each other is always fun and gratifying.

The conference also allows for the chance to tour projects recently completed that are closely aligned with the work we are doing. The exhibit hall was full this year with much more evidenced-based product. Lectures were given that offered the perspectives of fellow interdisciplinary team members and influenced an audience that walked away with knowledge to inspire a new class of project. Speaking proposals are already being solicited for next year's HEALTHCARE DESIGN.09 conference (October 31-November 3 in Orlando) so I look forward to seeing what will continue to be shared as our base of knowledge expands. Submit your presentation proposals online at

This year I paid particular attention to the roll out of the Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification program known as EDAC. For those of you who participated in the workshop on opening day, you know that the exam will be available to take this coming spring. The first of three study guides became available at the conference and is available at The Center for Health Design's Web site free of charge ( This new exam and all of its preparatory materials will provide all who need to assemble an evidence-based team with a benchmark to set for project expectations and team member qualifications.

Awards, as always, are an honor that we share to recognize exemplary individuals, projects, and products (see more about product awards deeper in this issue). The Center for Health Design has always been about change—changing the way we think about how healthcare facilities should look and feel and pushing others to incorporate evidence-based design into their work. With that in mind, The Center's Board of Directors gives awards each year to individuals or organizations that have demonstrated exceptional ability to make change happen in healthcare facility design.

Each year we solicit and accept nominations for the Changemaker Award. We give this award to an individual who is a visionary in the industry of healthcare design. This year it was our great pleasure to announce Joseph Sprague as the 2008 recipient.

Joseph sprague

Joseph Sprague

Joe is senior vice-president and director of health facilities at HKS Architects, and president of the ACHA Board of Regents. He is also chairman of the AIA Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities, and is president of the Facility Guidelines Institute. Under his leadership, design guidelines have been retooled and modernized to account for new healthcare delivery systems, technologies, and changes based on research. This award recognizes Joe's dedication and changemaking qualities to improving the Guidelines process.

It was also our second year presenting the Russ Coile Lifetime Achievement Award to someone who has spent his career advancing the healthcare design field. This year The Center's Board of Directors honored a special individual who has also made outstanding contributions to the design industry and beyond.

We were delighted to present the award to Norm Polsky. Norm has always believed in giving back to the design industry, establishing numerous endowments and awards to advance the field during the 49 years he ran the Fixtures Furniture seating company. An early supporter of The Center's work, Norm believes the benefits of philanthropy are circular, as each individual is a benefactor as well as a beneficiary. In 1993, he was the first Honorary Fellow of the American Society of Interior Designers; a 1990 recipient of the Design Excellence Hall of Fame Award; and recently honored by the International Interior Design Association.

It is all about making a difference! Congratulate Joe, Norm, and others, if you know them for the difference they have made in an industry so near and dear to us all. Please visit our Web site,, for information about competition entry guidelines and deadlines for next year.

Tell us what you enjoyed most about conference and what you would like to see offered differently. I look forward to see you all again at HEALTHCARE DESIGN.09 in Orlando. HD

Rosalyn Cama, FASID, is Board Chair for The Center for Health Design. Her book, Evidence-Based Healthcare Design is available through John Wiley & Sons. The Center for Health Design is located in Concord, California. For more information, visit
Healthcare Design 2009 January;9(1):10