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Attendance, Innovation on the Rise at 2011 Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo

TRUMBULL, Conn. — The 24th annual Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo celebrated yet another successful showing at its conference, held Sept. 20-22 at Chicago’s famed Navy Pier. The symposium saw more than 2,700 registrants and nearly 200 exhibitors, a 10 percent increase over last year. Healthcare owners, architects, designers, engineers, construction professionals and facility managers spent three days sharing ideas on healthcare-delivery improvement, exploring industry trends and discussing healthcare facility design through case studies, panel discussions, networking, interactive exhibits and more.

The conference program featured more than 70 educational sessions presented by industry experts. One of the many unique aspects of this year’s symposium education program was that every case study presented featured a representative from the healthcare facility being discussed, allowing attendees to hear the facility representative’s perspective on the project. Session topics ranged from healthcare reform, managing projects on limited budgets, best practices and key learnings from international case studies, medical tourism, groundbreaking technology upgrades and exploring sustainability for healthcare facilities.

Another unique addition to this year’s event was a Healing Garden featured on the exhibit floor. The garden was designed and sponsored by landscape architecture firm, Hitchcock Design Group, and featured a number of therapeutic elements, creating a rejuvenating space for attendees to visit between educational sessions and networking.

The symposium’s opening night also featured some excitement for attendees as they flocked to an evening party hosted by Humanscale at its Merchandise Mart Showroom. Attendees networked in the packed showroom, while sharing stories from the day. One of the evening’s highlights was the annual raffle, which raised more than $10,000 and benefited the Parkinson’s Disease Caregiver Respite Grant Program of Northwestern Medicine.

This year’s closing session brought attendees the real life story of how the University Medical Center responded to the tragic Jan. 8 shootings in Tucson, Ariz. Stephen Brigham, director of capital planning & projects and Michelle Ziemba, RN MSN, director of trauma and emergency services at the center, shared how the medical center operated in a national crisis and the impact on the staff and medical center.

HFSE also announced the 2011 recipient of “A Place to Flourish: The ‘Generative Space’ Health Improvement Award” co-sponsored by The Caritas Project and Medical Construction & Design Magazine. The Willson Hospice, which was designed by Perkins+Will, accepted the award. This annual international award recognizes and promotes healthcare provider organizations that are cultivating ‘generative space’ with the intentional design of environments to make both systemic and sustainable improvements to whole-community health. The award winners also presented a case study on the project as part of the Generative Space track of sessions.

The annual 2011 Symposium Distinction Awards were announced in a presentation on Wednesday, Sept. 21. This year’s hour-long presentation was also a learning experience as photos of the facilities and judge comments where shared during the presentation. Attendees were able to visit the Award Winners Gallery throughout the event for a closer look at this year’s recipients. The highly esteemed competition honors design teams and individuals who have made a profound contribution to the healthcare design industry, and recognizes the best and most innovative new products exhibited at HFSE. Winners included:

Architect’s Choice – LogicJunction Wayfinder
Most Sustainable, Most Innovative, Best In Show — HEPACART AnteRoom

Team Award – HKS Inc., Alegent Health Generation Patient Projects
User-Centered Award — Perkins + Will, Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas
Individual Award — Kathy Hathorn, CEO & Creative Director, American Art Resources

Next year marks the 25th Anniversary for the Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo. The event will take place Oct. 2-4, 2012 at Navy Pier in Chicago, Ill. Plans have begun to make the 25th year a celebration of the event and the progress made through the education and awareness of the importance of healing environments for the staff, patients and families. The call for educational submissions will be announced shortly. For more information, visit


Posted October 10, 2011

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