The healthcare design industry is on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak, responding to myriad needs tied to the built environment to ensure patients can be tested and treated effectively.

Healthcare Design turned to its esteemed Editorial Advisory Board members and other leaders for an inside look at how they’re responding to the crisis. In this ongoing web series, we’ll share what we hear, as we hear it—the challenges you’re all up against and the solutions being put into place.

In these “Notes from the Field,” you’ll find an industry diving in to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and quickly disseminating ideas to help others manage similar scenarios.

Tom Chessum, FAIA, principal, CO Architects (Los Angeles)

While working from home, CO Architects continues to be asked to push its projects forward, remotely communicating and functioning as teams of owners, builders, engineers, regulatory agencies, and architects. The learning curve of working while “distancing” has been steep, yet successful, as we’ve kept up the cadence of integrated project “Big Room” meetings for as many as 80 people interacting via web conferencing and shared media to maintain project productivity and schedule milestones.

The functionality of some individual local agencies remains possibly a question in this working-remote world, but primary regulatory agencies for our healthcare, higher education, and research projects remain committed and functional.

The institutional healthcare, higher education, and science and technology organizations for which we are working have almost all indicated strong commitments to moving forward with their capital projects.

On the healthcare front, while we are always impressed and motivated by our healthcare clientele’s mission focus, commitment to service, and resiliency, today we are in awe. We have all seen in every form of media all of the challenges that they are facing or preparing to face today, yet they are unwavering in their commitment to the future, as evidenced by their commitment to the continuation of their capital projects that will ensure the future of their organizations and the communities they serve.

If you have insight you’d like to share in this format, email Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Kovacs Silvis at