HEALTHCARE DESIGN Conference – A wealth of sessions related to Access to Nature

Desert Botanic Garden, Phoenix, AZ. Ottosen Entry Garden. Photo courtesy of Desert Botanic Garden

Desert Botanic Garden, Phoenix, AZ. Ottosen Entry Garden. Photo courtesy of DBG,

November 3 – 6, 2012
Phoenix, AZ
Early bird registration ends 7/27
Click HERE to register and for more details



The annual HEALTHCARE DESIGN Conference looks great this year, with a plethora of education sessions related to access to nature, including one with me and two awesome colleagues:

Tuesday, 11/6 from 8:00 a.m.  – 9:00 a.m.
Environmental Standards Council—The Case for Access to Nature in the 2014 Guidelines for Design and Construction of Healthcare Facilities

Naomi Sachs, ASLA, EDAC, PhD Student in Texas A&M’s College of Architecture in the Center for Health Systems & Design
Jerry Smith, Owner and Principal, SMITH\GreenHealth Consulting, LLC
Alberto Salvatore, Principal, Salvatore Associates

Through recommendations for the 2014 ‘Guidelines for Design and Construction of Healthcare Facilities,’ The Center for Health Design’s Environmental Standards Council (ESC) proposed language and substantiating evidence for incorporating access to nature as one of the key elements in the Environment of Care. Quantitative and qualitative research indicates access to nature is an essential design component to the health and well-being of patients, visitors, and staff. This presentation will include an overview of the Guidelines and a look at proposed revisions to the Guidelines that will allow regulatory agencies to more strongly support the inclusion of meaningful outdoor spaces in future projects.

Listed below are all of the other sessions, in chronological order, that look like they would be of interest to TLN members. These are just sessions that jumped out at me as I scanned the list. Others may also touch on access to nature, so look at the full program to go into more depth. If you see any I’ve missed, please leave a comment.

11/4, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Outpatient Therapy—Outside the Building at the World Renowned Kennedy Krieger Institute
Lydia Kimball, Registered Landscape Architect, American Society of Landscape Architects, LEED BD+C, Principal, Mahan Rykiel Associates
Lana Warren, EdD, OT/L, FAOTA, Senior Vice President of Clinical Programs, Kennedy Krieger Institute

Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI), specializing in programs to treat children with severe brain disorders, completed a major outpatient facility expansion in 2010. Central to the expansion was a garden designed specifically as a therapy space and healing environment for patients, families, and staff. The garden’s orientation is critical to the function of the building and its design is the outgrowth of a strong clinical staff/design team partnership. Presenters will reveal the unique design process, garden layout, choice of materials, and initial post-occupancy experience. Presenters will share ways the garden has enhanced KKI’s therapies and some unexpected ways the garden has become integral to the Institute’s success.

11/4, 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Deliberate by Design—A Year of Experience with the First U.S. Military Hospital to Include Evidence-based Design and Sustainability
Craig Zimring, PhD, Professor, School of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology
Charles Callahan, MD, U.S. Army
Jeff Getty, RA, LEED AP, Senior Vice President, HDR Architecture, Inc.
Barbara Dellinger, MA, EDAC, AAHID, IIDA, MDCID, Associate Vice President, HDR Architecture, Inc.

Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital is the DoD’s first military hospital to open (October 2011) using evidence-based design and sustainability in a design that supports the needs of patients, families, staff, and the community. It represents a major departure for military hospital design and was particularly challenging because it required developing and integrating new care processes and new technologies in a unified “Culture of Excellence.” Lead by the hospital’s CEO, lead design team, and senior researcher, this timely presentation will offer unique insights into the goals for the project, the resulting design, the process of activation, and the first year of experience as a living laboratory. You will hear how the team conducted each of these steps, as well as frank lessons learned for future military and civilian hospitals.

11/5, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Innovations in Research 2012
Anjali Joesph, PhD, EDAC, Director of Research, The Center of Health Design
Rana Zadeh, EDAC, PhD Candidate

This presentation will highlight The Center for Health Design’s Research Roadmap for 2012–2015 and the areas of high priority funding. Specifically, the work of The Center’s Research Coalition will be showcased, including the updates to the RIPPLE database, the EBD glossary, and funded research projects. New Investigator Awardee Rana Sagha Zadeh, LEED AP, EDAC, will present an update to her project, “The Role of the Physical Environmental in Nursing Unit Efficiency and Safety: The Impact of Windows and Daylight on Staff Mood, Satisfaction, Alertness, and Medical Errors.” This study was designed to investigate the effect of windows and daylight on healthcare employees’ physical and mental states as evidenced by satisfaction, mood, alertness/sleepiness, and medical errors.

11/6, 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Advanced Biophilic Design
Sally Augustin, PhD, Principal, Design With Science

Biophilic design applies the design principles found in natural environments to which human beings respond positively. This session will move beyond discussions of basic biophilic design and present opportunities to apply the most current research in healthcare settings. Topics that will be addressed include line and shape, window form, and appropriate use of color. Metaphors grounded in the ways humans experience the physical world will be discussed and the potential utilization of these findings will be reviewed. The material that will be presented has been derived from a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods recognized by the American Psychological Association.

Yes, Sally’s presentation conflicts with ours. I am not happy about this at all; I would LOVE to see Sally speak. They’ll both be great. Tough choices!

11/6, 9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
The Brain–Nature Love Affair—A Deep Dive into the Neural Mechanisms Triggering Salutogenic Responses to Nature

Debajyoti Pati, PhD, FIIA, LEED AP, Rockwell Endowment Professor, Texas Tech University
Michael W. O’Boyle, PhD, Associate Director, Texas Tech Neuroimaging Institute, Texas Tech University
Cherif Amor, PhD, Chair, Department of Design, Texas Tech University

The impact of nature, its visual impact on stress and anxiety in patients, has been well researched. However, the exact neural mechanism that triggers such response has remained unexplored. Recent technological advances in the form of fMRI have enabled the study of brain physiology, providing an unprecedented opportunity to obtain objective images of the neural fireworks. This provides important opportunities for (1) a significantly stronger evidence base; (2) finer resolution in decision making, especially involving imagery; and (3) a foundation for deeper scientific exploration. This session will present phase-1 findings of an ongoing study at the Neuroimaging Institute, Texas Tech University, that is using fMRI imaging to examine neural responses to sky imagery and other positive, negative, and neutral imagery based on scientific evidence from previous fMRI studies at the institute.

11/6, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Art in Healthcare—Making Connections to Community and Staff
Jackie Hamilton, MA, Director, Arts in HealthCare Program, UK HealthCare
Jim Lewison, CID, IIDA, ASID Senior Associate, Interior Design Director, AECOM

Growing research evidence suggests that art in the healthcare setting contributes to a healing environment by lowering stress, decreasing pain, shortening patient stays and improving outcomes. This session outlines how the Healthcare Arts Program, at University of Kentucky Healthcare, integrated healing art and landscaping into the design of a new facility and succeeded in building a sense of community. The roundtable attendees will discuss the importance of integrating a healthcare art program into initial building design plans and learn how this program was tailored to patients, families, and visitors, and was selected based on direct input from caregivers and staff.

The Therapeutic Landscapes Network is proud to be a Media Partner with Vendome Group for HEALTHCARE DESIGN.