Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 26


C THE CENTER | 10.15
Weathering the storm

Building resiliency into healthcare spaces means more than you might think
By Debra Levin
We've all had experiences where having an internal storeroom of resilience has come in handy.
Sick kids, overwhelming workloads, training for
a marathon, the loss of a loved one-all of these
things and thousands more can push us to our
limits, causing us to find an inner strength that
allows us to pick up, dust off, start over, and
thrive.
In many ways, as long as the challenges aren't
never-ending, they can actually be important
growth opportunities, pushing us to find new
solutions we hadn't yet tried and helping us to
see the positive aspects that arise from changes
and challenges.
Over the past decade or two, resilience in our
built environment has proven to be equally important. Hurricane Sandy devastating New York
in 2012, an earthquake leveling Haiti in 2010,
and a SARS outbreak overwhelming Toronto
in 2003 are just a few examples of events that
tested our healthcare systems' ability not only to
make it through a disaster without a disruption
in services, but to then act as a beacon for the
community during the immediate aftermath.
On the flip side, in many cases, these pressures exposed significant weaknesses in our
systems and buildings that led to epic failures
and sometimes collapse.
None of us has a crystal ball, but it's fair to
say that in the life of a healthcare building, it will
likely be challenged in ways that go beyond the
borders of the norm. The decisions we make
as we design and build the next generation of
healthcare spaces will have direct consequences
on how well the bricks and mortar and systems
put in place will stand up to these challenges.
The nuts-and-bolts issues of building resiliency
have been well covered in the pages of Healthcare Design and in presentations and case studies at the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference.
Gathering the knowledge of where others have
been successful and where they have not is
easy, even if knowing all the eventualities of what
you need to be planning for may not be.
What's new to the conversation is the role
that our healthcare buildings play in the overall
resilience of a community, its people, and
their ability to thrive and be healthy on a daily
basis-allowing them to weather the storm,
26

HCDmagazine.com 10.15

both figuratively and literally. The shift from a
healthcare system focused on curing illness
to a system that's focused on preventing
illness has raised the bar and provided a new
set of opportunities for those responsible, in
one way or another, for designing and running
healthcare facilities.

Resilient communities will thrive and
help reduce financial burdens on our
overstretched healthcare system.
We need to continue to push to create
healthcare spaces that don't solely house
traditional healthcare services, but are part of
a larger conversation on how we design our
cities and the role healthcare buildings play in
that plan. Can they be part of park systems,
offering easy access to information and
preventive care but also walking trails that are
safe and integrated into the community? Is
there access to fresh, nutritious, high-quality
food? In many communities, healthcare facilities are doing just that.
We need to continue to expand our focus
on healthy communities and the role the built
environment plays in accelerating and sustaining them, because healthy communities
are resilient communities, and resilient communities will thrive over the long run and help
reduce financial burdens on our overstressed
healthcare system.
The payback can be enormous because,
in the end, healthcare design at its core is
about improving (and prolonging) the quality
of life. HCD
Debra Levin is president and CEO of The Center for Health Design. She can be reached at
dlevin@healthdesign.org.

Debra Levin


http://www.HCDmagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Healthcare Design - October 2015

Healthcare Design - October 2015
Contents
hcdmagazine.com
Editorial
Show Talk
Monitor
Interiors
The Center
Adapt and Overcome
Seeds of Change
Site Seeing
State of Mind
Research
Special Advertising Section: 2015 Landscape Design Portfolio
First Look
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Healthcare Design - October 2015
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Cover2
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 1
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Contents
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 3
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - hcdmagazine.com
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 5
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Editorial
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 7
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Show Talk
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 9
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Monitor
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 11
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 12
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 13
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 14
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 15
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 16
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 17
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 18
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 19
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Interiors
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 21
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 22
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 23
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 24
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 25
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - The Center
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 27
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Adapt and Overcome
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 29
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 30
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 31
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 32
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 33
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 34
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 35
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Seeds of Change
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 37
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 38
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 39
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 40
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 41
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Site Seeing
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 43
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - State of Mind
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 45
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 46
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 47
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 48
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 49
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 50
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 51
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 52
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 53
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Research
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 55
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 56
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 57
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Special Advertising Section: 2015 Landscape Design Portfolio
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 59
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 60
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 61
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 62
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - 63
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - First Look
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Cover3
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - Cover4
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - SCover1
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S1
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S2
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S3
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S4
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S5
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S6
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S7
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S8
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - S9
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - SCover3
Healthcare Design - October 2015 - SCover4
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