Like many of you, I’m sure, I never really got out of the “back to school” mentality that hits when August rolls around. My staff and I have entered our busiest time of year: The Healthcare Design Showcase (soon to be in your hands!), our Healthcare Design (HCD) October issue and Environments for Aging fall issue, and then the huge November HCD show issue all hit in rapid succession. We divide and conquer to travel to a number of industry events speckling our fall calendars, too, and then convene again at our own marquee Healthcare Design Expo & Conference (Nov. 14-17, Washington, D.C.). And through it all, we’re hardcore planning for 2016, determining and reviewing budgets and taking stock of where we are as a brand, where we want to go, and how we’re going to get there in the next 12 months.

What do you want to accomplish this “school” year? The September Showcase issue feels like a nice kick-off for a forward-thinking mindset, because we can literally look at the built environments representing today’s healthcare reality and seek out clues for where to go next.

Beyond that, I’m personally excited to approach this year by reconsidering healthcare design through the broader lens of architecture and interiors within other disciplines. When Healthcare Design was acquired by Emerald Expositions last March, we gained sister publications and shows in the hospitality, retail, commercial, and residential design space. As the battle cry for “population health” intensifies, there’s no doubt that health and wellness thinking is going to creep further into the design of all these types of buildings. In turn, as healthcare moves deeper and deeper into the community, our own industry’s buildings will continue to adopt some operational and aesthetic cues from others. (Keep an eye out for our special report on the “retailing of healthcare” in an upcoming issue, as just one example.)

Like my kids with their loaded-up backpacks and pristine new school clothes, I’m trying to ease out of the summer, sharpening all my senses and working on presenting an eager face to the immediate challenges of the season. We have a lot to learn, but through the collective input of our contributors, conference speakers, and expert sources, we have a lot to teach, too. We’re looking forward to sharing the knowledge we gain.