The celebration of anniversaries provides an opportunity to pause, take stock, and recognize all that’s been achieved over a period of time. This has been especially true for The Center for Health Design as we mark our 25th anniversary this year—and we’re proud of what we see.

The Center was created to bring together like-minded people from disparate but connected parts of our industry to share knowledge and resources on how healthcare environments could be designed to contribute to quality of life.

A lot has changed since 1993, and the healthcare landscape looks different today than when we got our start. Back then, there was some design innovation happening but no cohesive way to share details. Few universities had dedicated programs in healthcare architecture or interior design. And while a few enlightened hospital administrators understood the relationship between the built environment and health outcomes, not many were specifically asking for their design teams to take an evidence-based approach to their work.

Furthermore, 25 five years ago, this magazine didn’t exist nor did the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference, where many of you are gathering this month. There was no EDAC certification to show understanding of the evidence-based design process, no Pebble Project to facilitate evidence-based design strategies, nor a Knowledge Repository to provide access to thousands of research citations.

In any industry, achieving success is often incremental, and the end product is usually the effort of many people and organizations—and it’s been no different for us.

We’re proud of what we’ve all achieved over these 25 years, but there are still great strides we must make to answer the current needs of our healthcare system and those it serves. Healthcare is moving well outside the walls of the traditional care delivery setting, providing more opportunities for design professionals to be creative and bring innovation to their clients.

With this in mind, we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary under the theme “Design Can,” recognizing the immense power design holds. Design can build community, inspire and educate, and be a catalyst for change. Design can revolutionize the way we work. And most importantly, it can be measured by documenting how the environment improves outcomes and safety.

While we take a moment to be proud of all that we’ve accomplished together, we look forward to building the next 25 years and seeing what incredible things this industry can do.

Debra Levin is president and CEO of The Center for Health Design. She can be reached at