September 8, 2015

Engaging an entire city in the selection of a design/construction team, using a building brand as a strategic tool to promote health in a community and how designers are looking toward other areas in design for innovative solutions in healthcare environments are a few of the topics for discussion by HKS healthcare leaders at the 2015 Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo (HFSE), to be held October 6-8 at Navy Pier in Chicago.

This year’s HFSE will focus on the intersection of design and wellness to serve the community of 2015 and beyond.

HKS will share knowledge and insight in the following sessions:

“Engaging an Entire City in the Selection of a Design/Construction Team” (G01)
Presenters: Robert Farrow, principal, HKS, Inc.; Bruce Komiske, new hospital design and construction, Erlanger Medical Center; Kevin Kuntz, principal, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.; and Joe Winick, vice president strategic planning, Erlanger Medical Center
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 10:45-11:45 a.m.
About: When faced with the journey of planning a series of new facilities on its urban campus, Erlanger Medical Center decided to select a team by engaging the entire city of Chattanooga in the process. Based on interviews with over 25 architects and construction managers, a small team selected two of the best of breed for both design and construction. The Erlanger team then spent an entire month working on the project with each team, including a significant amount of time understanding the unique aspects of Chattanooga. The final selection process included presentations by both teams to the entire city at the IMAX Theater. By utilizing this unique, inclusive process, they are confident that they not only have the right expertise, but also the necessary chemistry with the selected firms, as well as the support of the entire community. Objectives for this session include: learning how to select your next design/construction team by engaging the entire community in the process; understanding how important it is to experience the essential chemistry necessary for a really successful project; measuring the impact of this unique selection process on both the success of the project, as well as the enhanced philanthropic support; and demonstrating commitment to the community to engage them in every facet of the project to enhance overall success. 

“Building as Brand: A Strategic Tool to Promote Health in a Community” (A03)
Presenters: Kate Davis, associate principal/design director workplace strategies, HKS, Inc.; Steve Jacobson, principal, HKS, Inc.; and Karen Strauss, chief marketing officer, ProMedica
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
About: With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, as we start considering healthcare as a continuum and the patient as a consumer, the brand will be central to the discussion. The brand is more than the logo, it is that magical, intangible thing that helps make a patient identify with a health system, rather than a single building. In this session, members of the design team and from ProMedica Health System will share their evolving approach to embedding brand across a system, through a build-to-suit MOB, a health and wellness center, design for a new bed tower at Toledo Hospital campus, and their strategic decision to consolidate their administrative functions and catalyze a struggling Midwestern downtown. The critical role of brand will be discussed as an intrinsic part of design that enhances user experience, promotes health and wellness and develops a healthy community with tangible examples from a real life project. Objectives for this session include: understanding what brand means in the context of healthcare delivery and patient loyalty; learning what brand means to different stakeholders and constituents in the context of the continuum of health; sharing strategies on how brand can be integrated into architecture and design; and understanding how a branded approach to design can revitalize the urban fabric. 

“Providing a Next-Generation OR Platform in an Aging Infrastructure” (F06)
Presenters: Bill Alexander, AIA, vice president, HKS, Inc.; Arnold Barros, director of anesthesia services, Emory Healthcare; Lynda B. Herrig, PE, associate partner, Newcomb & Boyd; and Bradley Higdon, AIA, vice president, BDR Partners, LLC
Date/Time: Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 12:45-2:00 p.m.
About: Healthcare providers often balance the need for improved clinical capacity against the cost. For Emory, the surgery suite included ORs from the 1970s. They had been upgraded, but some were undersized for the involved procedures they accommodate. New and larger ORs were needed to stay ahead of the demand curve, including a bi-plane hybrid OR. Emory desired additional pre-op and PACU bays, and relocation of endoscopy to the surgical floor for efficient anesthesia coverage. A block of space from a prior project made the upgrade possible, but there were infrastructure challenges. The expanded suite would result in a “c-shaped” platform with internal circulation issues. By infilling a roof area and relocating a mechanical room, the team was able to fill in the “c.” Pre-op and PACU services were co-located for better resource utilization. Innovative solutions to staffing, way-finding and processes provided a dramatic upgrade within budget and schedule while maintaining functional ORs. Objectives for this session include: exploring issues encountered in the renovation and upgrade of OR space originally constructed in the 1970s; learning how infrastructure challenges were overcome to mediate internal circulation issues; identifying innovative staffing solutions to improve removal of waste and processes; and learning about the consolidation of space to improve way-finding and work flow. 

“Interdisciplinary Lessons for Healthcare Design” (B07)
Presenters: Ana Pinto-Alexander, principal, HKS, Inc.; Margi Kaminski, senior associate vice president of health sciences, RTKL Associates Inc.; Wayne Ruga, founder and president, the CARITAS Project; and Jocelyn Stroupe, director of healthcare interiors, Canon Design
Date/Time: Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
About: The design of healthcare facilities continues to advance as the scope of healthcare encompasses far beyond the treatment of patients. Healthcare facilities are designed with a broad spectrum of users in mind and the experiences they each have within the healthcare environment. In search of innovative solutions, healthcare providers and designers together are looking more and more toward other areas of design. In this session, a panel of design experts will discuss how to apply insights from other design sectors (e.g., workplace, hospitality, retail, branding design, etc.) to healthcare design and what factors should be considered in the translation process. Objectives for this session include: exploring the strengths in interdisciplinary applications; identifying areas for implementing lessons from workplace, hospitality/retail and communication/branding design into the design of healthcare facilities; examining design examples that incorporate interdisciplinary design concepts; and discussing factors that need to be considered when translating interdisciplinary design lessons into healthcare design. 

New this year, Design Gallery participants will conduct 15-minute Pecha Kucha presentations explaining their design solutions. HKS' Carina Clark will participate in a panel discussion, Transparency Challenges: A  3-D perspective, on October 6, from 5:00-6:30 p.m. in the Design Solutions Theater. Also join HKS on October 7 at 10:15 a.m. to hear about implementation of smart healthcare and Lean principles at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center Waxahachie.

For more information on the HSFE and the complete list of sessions, click here

Health Facilities Symposium & Expo, now in its 29th year, was the first event to bring together entire teams that design, plan, construct and manage healthcare facilities. HFSE focuses on how the physical space directly affects the staff, patients and their families, and the delivery of healthcare. Ideas, practices, products and solutions that improve current healthcare facilities and shape the facilities of tomorrow will be exchanged, explored and discovered at HFSE. 

HKS, Inc. is ranked among the top healthcare architectural firms in the world by Modern Healthcare and BD World Architecture. Operating from 27 offices worldwide, HKS focuses on innovative healthcare design, process and delivery. The firm’s award-winning healthcare architecture includes 2,000 unique projects representing 80,000 beds and 184 million square feet. HKS projects have garnered numerous awards and coverage in worldwide publications. The firm’s healthcare specialists are highly respected international speakers. 

For more information, contact Brian McFarlane at or Sherri Smith at

Posted in Health