One of the best parts of our HCD Forum event, which we held this past September in Savannah, Ga., is that it allows us to do something a little different. In fact, the goal of Forum is for it to feel substantially different than our annual Healthcare Design Conference + Expo, or any other industry event for that matter. (For more on the upcoming HCD Conference, held Nov. 4-7 in New Orleans, click here.)

Check out Healthcare Design’s November issue for a visual recap of this year’s Forum. But one of the ways we’re able to achieve the desired feel is through our programming. Many of the sessions at Forum are a departure from those you’d find in our educational lineup at HCD Conference—I’d call them more healthcare design adjacent.

The goal is to challenge existing lines of thinking or provide a new lens through which attendees might view their work.

This year, we were fortunate to have Annie Griffiths join us as keynote speaker. Annie is one of the first women photographers to work for National Geographic, and she shared with attendees some of the lessons she’s learned across her three-decade-plus career on how to connect with anyone, anywhere.

But it’s where she took us next that I wanted to explore here.

Leaving a legacy through healthcare design

Annie also led a workshop on the topic of legacy, something I wasn’t initially sure would be a fit. But the more I considered the idea, the more I realized the distinct opportunity you all have to create legacy each day.

Everything you plan, design, and build will impact communities for years, even decades, to come, not to mention what you take from each project and apply to future ones. And while that’s all there, organically, it can be easy to lose sight of what drove you to this work in the first place.

Sometimes a nudge in the right direction can help us all reset, to identify the passion for this field that might get buried under budgets, deadlines, labor shortages, and so on. Plus, it helps ensure the mark you leave is the one that matters most to you.

Annie got the process started by asking Forum attendees to consider one of three questions:

  • When you start a new project, who are your favorite people to design for or to speak with to inform your work, and what do you wish you could do for them?
  • If you could have one week each month to work on a project, what would that project be?
  • What non-monetary legacy would you like to leave, how would you want your mark on this industry to be described?

It’s a lot to consider, but I’m sure you’re drawn to at least one of those. Our attendees certainly were.

I encourage you to pause, give it thought, and appreciate the ability you have in this career to make a true, lasting difference.

And the next time we’re together, I’d love to hear what you decided your difference will be.