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Many of you will be heading to the Healthcare Design Conference + Expo in New Orleans next weekend. Have you decided which educational sessions you're going to attend yet?

There are so many good ones -- not to mention all the networking events, awards presentations, tours, and exhibits. The days are always long and full.

So, if you're looking for some help deciding, here are my educational session recommendations for this year's conference:


8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

W01 - Coaching Workshop: Practical Application of Evidence-based Design

  • Donna Deckard, BSN, MPS, EDAC, Director of Strategic Projects, The Center for Health Design
  • Kati Peditto, PhD, EDAC, WELL AP, Co-Director, Human Experience Lab, Perkins&Will
  • Margaret Calkins, Ph.D., EDAC, FGSA, Board Chair, IDEAS Institute
  • And a bunch more coaches

If you'd like to learn more about evidence-based design and use it in your practice or on your next project, this hands-on workshop is for you. Lots of knowledgeable folks in this one. But you need to register by Monday, October 30 on the HCD conference website for this one so they can pair you with a coach.


9:45 - 10:45 a.m.

E04 - The Exposome - Going From Ideals to Implementation of Health Equity

  • Angela Mazzi, FAIA, FACHA, EDAC, Partner, Senior Medical Planner, GBBN Architects
  • Greg Coni, Architect, GBBN Architects
  • Tiffany Broyles Yost, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Fitwel Amb., Associate Principal, Director of Sustainability and Resilience, GBBN Architects

Just wanting to find out what the "exposome" is intrigues me about this one. Plus, health equity is a hot topic.

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

R03 - Burning the Candle at Both Ends - Design Strategies to Address Caregiver Burnout

  • Debbie Gregory, DNP, RN, Co-Editor HERD, Co - Founder, NIHD; Principal, Healthcare Innovation Consulting, Smith, Seckman, Reid, Inc.
  • Roz Cama, President, Cama Inc.
  • Kim Montague, President/Principal, Albert Kahn Associates
  • Terri Zborowsky, Ph.D., RN, EDAC, Design Researcher, HGA

Anything by this group of women has to be terrific. Another hot topic that we can't talk enough about.

2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

E23 - Building Design as a Catalyst for Extraordinary Behavioral Health Outcomes

  • Alice Nuttall, MBA, RN, BA, AVP, Behavioral Health Services, Lakeland Regional Health
  • Bryan Caripolti, Senior Project Director, Lake Regional Health
  • Hernan Rivera, AIA, ACHA, Associate Principal, HuntonBrady Architects, P.A.
  • J. Greg Braithwaite, AIA, ACHA. Healthcare Principal, HuntonBrady Architects

I love a good case study. This one's about Lakeland Regional Health's new hospital and outpatient center in Florida.

E29 - Virtual or Real - New Medical Technologies that will Transform the Therapeutic Environment

  • Brian R. White, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Healthcare Design Leader, RLF
  • Steven Langston, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, LEED BD+C, Design Principal, RLF

There's always a session time when I can't just pick one. And I think the title's misleading here -- it's about digital health technologies, which are different from medical technologies in my book.

3:15 - 4:15 p.m.

E35 - Healthier Healthcare Facilities - The Value of a Fitwel Certification

  • Anna Claire Vawter, NCIDQ, RID, Interior Designer, Gresham Smith
  • Chris Hoal, AIA, Healthcare Market Design Leader, Gresham Smith
  • Corie Baker, AIA, EDAC, LEED AP BD + C, WELL AP, Fitwel Ambassa, Senior Architect, Gresham Smith
  • John Porter, Vice President, Construction Services, Baptist Health Care

Anything about healthy buildings interests me. And this one's a case study of Baptist Health Care's new medical office building to boot!


8:00 - 9:15 a.m.

K03 - The Center for Health Design Awards Ceremony and Changemaker Keynote

  • Barbara Huelat, CHID, FASID, EDAC, Principal, Health Design

Can't wait to hear what this esteemed healthcare interior designer has to say about her career and healthcare design.

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

E42 - Research Matters - Ten Picks for the Year

  • Addie Abushousheh, Ph.D., EDAC, Assoc. AIA, Research Associate, The Center for Health Design
  • Ellen Taylor, Ph.D., AIA, MBA, EDAC, Vice President for Research, The Center for Health Design
  • Melissa Piatkowski, M.S., EDAC, Research Associate, The Center for Health Design
  • Yolanda Keys, Research Associate, The Center for Health Design

If you like research, you'll love this session on the latest, coolest evidence by this group of talented researchers.

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

A17 - Mental and Behavioral Health Interior Design and Furniture: What's New?

  • Barbara Dellinger, Design Consultant, Dellinger Solutions Inc.
  • Christine Emmanuelson, NCIDQ, CHID, Program Manager Interior Design, Veterans Health Administration
  • Lauren Banas, Vice President, Krug Healthcare Solutions
  • Sandy Goodman, IIDA, CHID, LEED AP, EDAC, LSSBB, President, CRGA Design

This is also a topic we can't get enough of. And I love that it's looking at it through the furniture lens.

2:15 - 3:30 p.m.

K04 - Keynote Panel on Current State of Sustainability and Decarbonization in Healthcare

Don't know who's on the panel yet, but it will be a group of owners. Hope the moderator knows how to ask the right questions.

3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

E53 - Rural Healthcare - Dismantling the Old to Survive the New

  • Bob Gesing AIA, National Healthcare Practice Leader, Trinity:NAC
  • Jeff Subler, President and CEO, Wayne HealthCare
  • Jill Woods, Principal, Interior Designer, NAC Architecture
  • Kimberlee Freeman, Vice President of Patient Care Services/CNO, Wayne HealthCare

Ah, the forgotten child -- rural health. This case study is about Wayne HealthCare's journey to dismantle its old ways and create a new platform for care.


8:15 - 9:15 a.m.

R15 - Issues in Artificial Intelligence and Professional Education for Healthcare Architecture

  • David Allison, FAIA, FACHA, Alumni Distinguished Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Architecture + Health, Clemson University
  • Frank Zilm, Director, Institute for Health+Wellness Design, The University of Kansas
  • Noam Platt, AIA ACHA, Noam Platt, Make Good INC.

You're gonna have to get up early for this one. But if you want to know more about AI's potential impact on architectural education and practice, set your alarm and don't hit the snooze button.

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

E72 - Learning from Cincinnati Children's Spectral Lighting System

  • James Greenberg, MD, Co-Director, Perinatal Institute; Lead Physician Executive, Critical Care Building and Master Planning, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
  • Lauri Tredinnick, IALD, LC, LEED AP, Studio Leader, Pivotal Lighting Design
  • Marty Brennan, AIA, WELL AP, Associate Principal; Project Architect; Daylighting Specialist, ZGF Architects

Another case study! But with research involved. Love anything lighting-related.

1:15 - 2:15 p.m.

E82 - Return of the Prodigal Son - Healthcare Systems and Their Cities

  • Clayton Mitchell PE, CEM, Senior Vice President, Jefferson Real Estate and Facilities, Thomas Jefferson University & Jefferson Health
  • Faith Orsini, Vice President, Facilities, Cooper University Health Care
  • Saul Jabbawy, Director of Design, Ewing Cole

Not sure I get the biblical reference in the title of this session, but how new building projects and campus improvements enrich the community is a timely topic.

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

E92 - The Ideal Cancer Center - Patient-Centered Care Created by Designers Recovering from Cancer

  • Lauren Wagner, CID, LEED GA, Lead Interior Designer, Taylor Design
  • Nanci Timmins, Chief Fire and Life Safety Officer, California Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI), Office of Statewide Hospital Planning and Development (OSHPD
  • Teresa Endres, Project Director/Senior Medical Planner, Taylor Design

It's hard being in the last time slot, but if you're still around, this one offers some personal insights into the design of an ideal cancer center.


Also, don't forget to check out all the exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall, and maybe attend one of the exhibitor-sponsored sessions in the Solutions Theater in the Expo Hall on Monday and Tuesday. Topics are:

  • Sustainable material sampling
  • Best practices and lessons learned in project delivery
  • New insights and design considerations on waiting spaces
  • Utilizing DfMA and modular components
  • Optimizing building performance

Looking forward to seeing all my industry friends and colleagues at the conference -- and meeting new people, too! If you want to connect with me at the conference, shoot me an email.

P.S. Please do me a favor -- if you liked this post and like this blog, please share it with others by sending them the link or posting it on your Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Also, don't forget to subscribe, so you'll get emails when new content is posted. Thanks!

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What's my story? I'm a healthcare and senior living design knowledge expert who writes and speaks frequently about trends and issues affecting these two industries. I'm also a strategic marketing consultant and content creator, working with companies and organizations who want to improve the quality of healthcare and senior living through the design of the physical environment. You can reach me at .

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