Frank Zilm, D.Arch, FAIA, FACHA
Chester Dean lecturer on healthcare design, University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design & Planning

Who he is: Zilm has been teaching at the University of Kansas for more than 25 years and has worked in healthcare planning and architecture for even longer. Over the past four years, Zilm and his colleagues have established an innovative graduate program in healthcare planning and design, based on a strong integration of academia and the practice community.  A key element of the curriculum is a seven-month internship in a healthcare architecture firm, and Zilm encourages his students to take the EDAC exam and to participate in student competitions.

Year in review: That encouragement has been fruitful: Under his direction, two teams of Zilm’s students were finalists in the 2012 Nurture Collegiate Healthcare Design Competition (co-sponsored by Healthcare Design, Nurture by Steelcase, and the Center for Health Design). One of the teams earned an honorable mention for its concept of creating an enclosed space dedicated for nurse shift transitions, along with “huddle spaces” in hospital hallways to encourage staff collaboration.

What’s next: Zilm recently completed writing and editing a book on healthcare planning and design that he’ll use for his upcoming spring class.  He’ll also be co-directing a continuing education course on emergency department planning and design at the Harvard College of Medicine/Harvard Graduate School of Design.


THE HCD 10 (Click any winner's name for more information):

  • Architect: Joan Saba, partner, NBBJ (New York)
  • Association/foundation executive: Tammy Thompson, president and founder, Institute for Patient-Centered Design (Atlanta)
  • Construction/building executive: Andrew Quirk, senior vice president and national director, Healthcare Center of Excellence, Skanska USA Building (Nashville)
  • Researcher: Nicholas Watkins, director of research, HOK (New York)
  • Facility manager: Dennis Monty, director of facilities planning, compliance, and special projects, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston)
  • Interior designer: Jean Hansen, senior professional associate and sustainable interiors manager, HDR Architecture (San Francisco)
  • Owner: Gary Kusnierz, vice president, performance excellence, Ministry Health Care (Menasha, Wis.)
  • Educator: Frank Zilm, Chester Dean lecturer on healthcare design, University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design & Planning
  • Rising star (under 40): Natalie Miovski, principal and director of healthcare, EwingCole (Philadelphia)
  • Firm of the year: NBBJ (headquartered in Seattle).