Before PJ Glasco focused her career on healthcare, she refined her skills by working in a variety of other design sectors, including custom furniture, high-end residential, and landscape architecture. Drawn to the strategic and technical aspects of healthcare design, she found her path to the industry 17 years ago, working with firms Perkins+Will and then FKP (FKP merged with CannonDesign in 2017). “All of these experiences have impacted and shaped me in different ways,” she says. Specifically, furniture design taught her to appreciate details and how to listen to clients. “It is such a meticulous process—you need discipline, imagination, and focus in equal amounts, at all times,” she says. Most recently, she’s applied those lessons to her work at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care in Philadelphia and Memorial Hermann northeast tower expansion in Houston. “For me, the human aspect of healthcare design drives my passion,” she says.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care, Philadelphia

How did you know architecture was the right career for you?

Growing up in India, most people at that time chose medical or engineering professions, but I never wanted to do that. I knew I wanted to be an architect at a very young age. My best friend’s father was an architect, and I admired his creativity, his meticulous work ethic, and his beautiful drawings. He initially inspired my passion for architecture. After I was accepted into the architecture program in India, my friend’s father actually became a professor of mine, bringing it all full circle.

What do you like best about working in healthcare design?

The opportunity to help solve health systems’ challenges and bring better care to patients and their families through facility design. Also, there are so many facets to healthcare architecture, such as technologies, operations, and patient care, that it’s never dull.

Three items on your desk

1 some of my pen and ink drawings

2 bottle of honey that my co-worker gave me from her husband’s bee farm (good for those cough-filled days due to allergies)

3 healthy snacks like pistachios, dried figs, and walnuts

What’s your personal mission statement?

“Help people be healthier.”

Favorite …

Movie character Alice from “Resident Evil.”

Guilty pleasure Chocolate cakes. Anything chocolate, really.

Sport I love watching cricket, though coordinating with the Indian time zone is not easy.

Hobby I love needlework and have created some interesting pieces. I’d love to have time to do more of this.

Author I love Jeffrey Archer’s books. He was among the first who really hooked my interest in reading.

Quote “I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door—or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the pre-sent.”—Poet Rabindranath Tagore

Outside the office you’ll likely find me…

I have twin 7-year-old daughters and I spend most of my time with them and my husband, focusing on family activities. We all attend kung fu classes together and love swimming and playing in the park with our dog, Sophie.

Dog or cat? I’ve had dogs my whole life, and we currently have a Rhodesian Ridgeback as a family companion and friend.

Beer, wine, or liquor? Liquor. My husband makes liquor from figs we grow in our backyard.

Cocktail of choice? My husband’s homemade bourbon.

Fiction or nonfiction? Fiction. There’s enough nonfiction in everyday life.

How did you make your first dollar? At age 16 as an aerobics instructor in India.

Your hidden talent? I’m a really good mountaineer.

If I wasn’t an architect I would be… A yoga instructor. That’s my retirement plan.

Last time I danced? Yesterday, with my kids after a huge project interview.