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WHR Architects’ Charles D. Cadenhead Named Fellow in the American College of Critical Care Medicine

WHR_Cadenhead_photo_2Houston, Texas — Charles D. Cadenhead, FAIA, FACHA, WHR senior principal and senior medical planner, was received as a Fellow in the American College of Critical Care Medicine (ACCM) at the annual convocation ceremony, held this year in San Diego, CA. In accepting Cadenhead for fellowship, the Chancellor of the Board of Regents, M. Michele Moss, MD, FCCM, cited Cadenhead’s commitment to the ideals and practice of multi-professional critical care, and applauded his achievements in fostering the ideals of critical care through his contributions.

Cadenhead’s fellowship is especially noteworthy because he is the rare non-clinician, and the first architect, to be named a Fellow in the prestigious medical college. The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), the largest multi-professional organization dedicated to ensuring excellence and consistency in the practice of critical care, has an international membership of more than 14,000 from a diverse group of highly-trained professionals including physicians, intensivists, critical care nurses, critical care pharmacists/pharmacologists, respiratory therapists, technicians and social workers from 80 countries — but only a handful of architects.

“Charles Cadenhead embraced the opportunity to work with SCCM members in a number of ways to advance the quality and effectiveness of critical care facilities,” says WHR President and Charirman David Watkins, FAIA. “Through his thought leadership and hard work, he is helping to change the future of ICU design. The firm could not be more proud.”

“As the society reminds us, fellowship is not an end in itself; it comes with the responsibility to continue our work and to be a role model for the next generation of critical care practitioners and researchers, and, perhaps, architects,” notes Cadenhead. “Working at WHR, I have had both the intellectual impetus and the ongoing cultural support of the firm that are required to engage in the demanding issues of critical care facilities with the SCCM.” 

Cadenhead’s contributions to critical care medicine include his authorship of several sections of the ACCM Design Guidelines, where he helped develop cutting-edge criteria for hospital-based, critical care units; as Chair of the Society of Critical Care Design Competition committee, he represented the National AIA and the AAH, the co-sponsors, overseeing the recognition of ICU designs; and has published a comparative, post-occupancy study on fourteen past competition-winning projects for use by architects and physicians to improve ICU design.  Further, he was an invited speaker on the topic at the 2009 International Academy for Design and Health World Congress in Singapore and the 2010 European Congress for Design and Health in Rotterdam.

“By working with medical societies like the SCCM and other similar organizations, architects can accelerate the ability to learn more, faster than we ever could on a project by project basis, which, in turn, informs our project work,” Cadenhead observes.  The current and recent projects that have benefitted from his talent and experience include: The Methodist Hospital in Houston; Stamford Hospital’s Specialty Pavilion Expansion in Stamford, CT; and the Meridian Health Systems Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s Northwest Pavilion in Neptune, NJ.

WHR Architects is a full service architecture, interior design and technology planning firm. The firm’s commitment to critical thinking is balanced by an ingrained empathy that results in both improved project outcomes and positive working experiences for their clients. With over 130 people in Houston and Dallas, Texas, Washington DC and New Jersey, the 30-year-old firm is working on projects throughout the US for top–tier public and private education and medical institutions. WHR was named the 2008 AIA Houston Firm of the Year and 2010 IIDA Texas/Oklahoma Chapter Firm of the Year. For more information visit


Posted February 16, 2011

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