For the last 14 years, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to serve as chairperson of The Center for Health Design’s board of directors, sitting with an amazing table of thought leaders who have changed the way you and I practice design and the way most Americans experience healthcare delivery. This experience, which will come to an end in November as my final term closes, has allowed me to get to know and admire many of those who have rallied around the common goal of improving healthcare outcomes through thoughtfully designed healthcare facilities. Together, we developed the built environment in which healthcare is now administered.

Under the leadership of CEO Debra Levin, The Center has been able to mature a nonprofit to serve so many in corresponding allied fields. It took a group brain with a very high incentive quotient to know how to pose the right questions to start this movement. By disseminating the analysis of a small body of knowledge, we incited a shift in healthcare design toward an evidence-based methodology. It was in that period that we articulated the need to build a case for better buildings to deliver quality care as defined by the Institute of Medicine. This allowed The Center to align with so many of those designing and building the next generation of care facilities.

The Pebble Project was next born as a way to coalesce best practices and launch much-needed innovation. It was through participants’ incredible efforts to research, design, and then share valuable lessons learned that these Pebble Projects have moved a very important conversation forward. Many who participated in the program have been mobilized to build a more robust research agenda that’s led to a formidable body of knowledge.

HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal emerged because of the rich content that continues to be produced, and the Evidence-based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC) program, now 2,000 strong, has fueled a generation of well-informed professionals poised to raise the bar. Finally, the Built Environment Network was launched to engage facility leaders to stay at the edge of emerging design and management trends.

Over these formative years, I’ve had the opportunity to write many articles and share with you the top-of-mind issues considered at The Center, here in this column. I’ll miss the discourse that these articles have incited; however, I welcome the opportunity to continue our conversations through my blog at

As I pass the gavel, The Center is ready to launch tools that will make the best evidence-based design practitioners even smarter. The Affiliate+ Program will ready us all in the launch of the “next best” design trends, as the delivery of health and well-being reaches beyond the hospital campus. As the field is poised to shift to a performance-based delivery model, we’ll all need to be at the top of our game.

My successor will be announced at the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference, Nov. 14-17 in Washington, D.C.  I hope to see you there and thank you personally for your friendship and support. We still have much work to do, but I’m incredibly grateful and a much better person for having had this experience.