William Worn, AIA, EDAC, LEED AP, architect, clinical associate professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, Ill.)

WHO HE IS: After a decade teaching healthcare design to students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Chicago campuses, Worn was looking for a better way to educate students on the complexities of healthcare design and bridge the gap between academia and practice. In 2017, he found the answer: creating Health and the City, a graduate, three-course program for the School of Architecture that’s hosted at the university’s  Chicago studio. The program is designed to go beyond a purely academic approach by immersing students in the realities of the profession, including budgets, schedules, regulatory burdens, and construction obstacles. A design studio includes visits to healthcare facilities and tours of local architecture firms. Outside the university, Worn is president emeritus of Worn Jerabek Wiltse Architects P.C. (Chicago), has served on local and state American Institute of Architects (AIA) boards, and is past-president of the AIA chapter in Illinois.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Worn spent the last year creating and teaching the Health and the City program, with the assistance of visiting lecturers Sheila Cahnman, president of JumpGarden Consulting (Wilmette, Ill.), and Doug King, principal at Stantec (Chicago). To fulfill his mission to provide students with a real-world experience in healthcare design, Worn relied heavily on involvement from the architectural community in Chicago. During its first year, students visited a number of facilities, including Rush University Medical Center, Northwestern School of Medicine’s simulation labs, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Prentice Women’s Hospital, and Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital. They also visited several firms, such as CannonDesign, HDR, ESA, Gensler, and SmithGroupJJR, where they met with healthcare architects. For example, on a trip to CannonDesign, students learned about the complex process of adding a new bed tower to the existing Froedert Hospital campus, and during a visit to Moody Nolan, architects shared the complexities of the design of the new University of Chicago Medicine Trauma Center.

WHAT’S NEXT: Worn plans to further integrate the Health and the City program into the Chicago healthcare architecture community, including working with a local safety-net hospital to create a 2018 design studio, identifying new opportunities to collaborate with healthcare architecture firms, and partnering with local healthcare organizations to provide students with access to a greater variety of medical settings.