If we pause and take time to reflect on what really matters in our day-to-day activities, then very different scenarios begin to emerge. Sometimes this realization occurs after major change strikes, and we experience epiphanies about the meaning of life. For The Center for Health Design, such a moment came with the sale of the Symposium on Healthcare Design in 1998. It imposed a change in our strategic thinking.

The Center’s board of directors had found that although we had achieved a cultural shift in how the design community approaches the design of healthcare environments, we were still amiss in capturing the attention of hospital decision makers. We paused and thought about it. In keeping with our multidisciplin-ary approach, we carefully looked at all the factors that might motivate those decision makers to follow our principles. We decided to park our intuitive insights for the moment and develop a stronger, more complete database of hard evidence—and the research endeavor known as “The Pebble Project” took on new meaning.

Twice annually, The Center’s board meets with representatives of each of the Pebble Projects—healthcare providers that have sought access to and consultation with some of the nation’s leading practitioners in healthcare design—and a wonderful exchange of newfound data occurs. Thanks to sponsorship by DuPont Fibers Division, Interface, Inc., and Starizon, Inc., we have invited to those meetings thought-provoking speakers on topics ranging from future forecasts, design innovations, and economic trends to research methodologies, sustainability, and safety issues.

This has turned out to be the kind of educational experience that is too valuable to keep confined to such a small audience. With many thanks to our founding Pebble Partners and industry sponsors, we are now equipped with an expanded base of knowledge and are ready to be back in the business of educating, inspiring, and provoking each and every discipline involved in the building of healthcare facilities.

Our natural partner for this new endeavor is Medquest Communications, our collaborator in publishing this magazine. This year, HEALTHCARE DESIGN .03 is being launched as an annual conference where the newest and most important topics will be addressed, in an evidence-based format, to help you transform facility design. As an extension of our Pebble experience, for example, B. Joseph Pine II, of Starizon, Inc., will explore how best to incite business transformation, and Peter Coughlan, PhD, of IDEO will look at facility management transformation through the design process. Joining them will be many other visionaries, including Center board members Russell C. Coile, Jr., Jain Malkin, and Roger S. Ulrich, PhD, who will share industry forecasts and the latest research findings emerg-ing from our Pebble Partners.

I encourage you to take the time from your busy schedule to pause, if only for a few days, in Miami, Florida, to think about what really matters in facility planning. Bring your team along and join the leaders in this field. Come see what three days in Miami can do to transform your thinking about healthcare design (the preconference program accompanies this issue or can be seen at http://www.hcdmagazine.com). HD

President of CAMA Incorporated of New Haven, Connecticut, and a member of The Center for Health Design board of directors