FGI Recognizes Outstanding Leaders with Pioneer Award

The Pioneer Award of the Facility Guidelines Institute honors select individuals and organizations of outstanding character who influence or create the future of health and residential care facility design and construction through their contributions and support of the mission and vision of the Facility Guidelines Institute. FGI recently presented the Pioneer Award to three remarkable individuals: Rebecca Lewis, Jane Rohde and Judy Smith.

Rebecca J. Lewis, FAIA, FACHA, CID

Rebecca Lewis

Lewis joined the Health Guidelines Revision Committee, or HGRC, in 2002 and quickly exhibited a strong understanding of health and residential care codes and standards. Her passion for learning and special ability to bring people to consensus make her a beloved and respected co-chair of the Outpatient Document Group.

In addition, Lewis a has been an unwavering advocate for Evidence-Based Design standards for small and rural healthcare communities, the design of ambulatory care facilities and the special needs of Native American tribal healthcare leaders. Lewis’ leadership is demonstrated through her long-standing service and commitment on the HGRC Steering Committee and her role in developing the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Outpatient Facilities.


Jane Rohde

Rohde joined the HGRC in 2006 and immediately set to work improving elder care requirements in the Guidelines. The depth and breadth of Rohde’s knowledge simultaneously demonstrate her mastery of and agility in responding to the contextualized needs of vulnerable populations and complex sets of circumstances. Recognizing the practice- and need-based differences between healthcare settings and environments built for elders and other vulnerable populations, Rohde championed a fundamental shift in the structure of the documents. The result of that shift was the creation of a new publication specific to residential and elder care facilities, the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facilities.

In addition, it is noted that everyone who has the good fortune to work closely with Rohde recognizes she creates and fosters a collegial atmosphere that inspires colleagues to expand personal horizons, and advance industry knowledge, to benefit older adults and those working on their behalf.

Judith A. Smith, MHA

Judith Smith

Smith has been at the forefront of designing healthcare facilities for mothers, babies and children since the beginning of her career. Her deeply humanistic work embodies an understanding of the crucial need for family support in newborn intensive care and labor and delivery environments. Smith shares her passion for patient- and family centered care with her clients and her colleagues, fostering the design of healthcare facilities that embrace and support this approach to healthcare.

Smith joined the HGRC in 1988 and made an immediate impact on the content of the Guidelines. She provided the essential expertise to improve and expand the design standards for newborn intensive care units and obstetrical facilities and was instrumental in the creation of a new section on freestanding birth centers. An unwavering advocate for children’s health, Smith led development of a new chapter specific to children’s hospitals in the 2014 Guidelines. A founding member of the international consensus committee that writes the Recommended Standards for Newborn ICU Design, Smith has been a bridge between the Guidelines and the research and practice community.


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Posted January 13, 2021

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