"The biggest thing for me and design in the healthcare world is that fact that everything we do is to help patients with their well-being."
HEALTHCARE PRACTICE DIRECTOR | ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT
University of Missouri - Kansas City
What's been your most rewarding project(s) while at your firm?
The University of Kansas Health System(TUKHS) – Cambridge Tower A.
At $370M, 13 stories and approximately 600,000 SF this is the largest project that I have worked on in healthcare and one in which I am most proud as it will help so many people in the KC Metro and surrounding region.
I have a long history with TUKHS dating back to 2005 and have been in just about every nook and cranny in the entire campus. The main hospital was constructed in the late 1970’s and we have been part of many renovations within the main hospital (Bell Hospital) and the Heart Hospital that opened in the early 2000’s. The renovations involve quite a bit of thought and almost always a lack of space for everything needed. So to be part of a new modern facility that is designed for the entire patient well-being was pretty incredible.
Healthcare has changed so much since I started working in it, from more of an institutional feel to more of a home feel with lots of natural elements including healing gardens and natural light. We were able to introduce many of these themes in this new facility along with infrastructure to support future growth on the campus. This project will be serving the community for many years to come and it is exciting to have been part of the process.
Most interesting place you've traveled for work?
Jackson Hole, WY
While I did also get to travel to Hawaii (Maui) for work which was incredible, I think Jackson Hole is a very interesting and unique area. We got connected with the facility director at the hospital in Jackson to help out with some assessments. The facility is great and well supported by the community. The labor-delivery department in the hospital overlooks an Elk preserve and moose regularly wander up to certain areas on the hospital campus. It is likely some of the best views that exist from a patient room possibly in the world. Being able to throw in a quick trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone doesn’t hurt either.
What inspires you about your profession?
The biggest thing for me and design in the healthcare world is that fact that everything we do is to help patients with their well-being. From making sure the air is fresh and there is plenty of natural light to making sure that patients are safe in the event of an emergency or inclement weather.
Healthcare design has changed so much and we are continuing to look at new technologies and evidence based design to find ways to help folks heal or find peace, etc. Frankly as a teenager and young adult; hospitals were always scary, cold places to me. Having designed and worked in many hospitals and meeting the folks that works with patients and keep the facilities running has been very impactful. Almost everyone you meet is ready to help in whatever way they can.
Between this and becoming familiar with healthcare design, it continues to inspire me everyday knowing that I and many others are making positive impacts on many lives. This is also a very challenging environment to work in, which pushes us to do things design-wise that we may not be able to do otherwise as well as dealing with solving many time sensitive issues because literally a patient’s life may depend on quick accurate resolution.