Spring is a busy time of year here between magazine production and planning for our 2024 events. So, it was nice to shift gears and get out of the office in early May for the Healthcare Design Showcase judging.

This year’s meeting was held in Nashville, Tenn., where we kicked things off with a day of guided tours of nearby healthcare and medical education facilities.

The excursion is designed to provide jurors with some design inspiration before diving into an in-depth review process of the Showcase submissions the next day—and it did not disappoint.

One welcome sight was the way that facilities—whether educational or clinical—are addressing the needs of healthcare professionals through design.

For example, the tour at the Thomas F. Frist, Jr. College of Medicine at Belmont College, hosted by ESa (which also shared its downtown office for the Showcase judging), highlighted interactive classrooms and the 60,000-square-foot Center for Interprofessional Engagement and Simulation space—all designed to support medical education’s shift to a more interactive model.

“We’re creating a pipeline for future healthcare workers,” one of our tour guides noted.

Another stop was the Nashville Family Safety Center, which provides comprehensive resources for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse, and human trafficking under one roof.

Design strategies to attract, retain healthcare staff

Designed by TMPartners (Brentwood, Tenn.), the facility creates a welcoming, comforting, and safe space for clients and staff using trauma-informed design strategies, including sound-absorbing ceiling materials, a central skylight to bring daylight into the interiors, and private rooms where staff can go to decompress.

Designing to attract and retain healthcare workers was also a central theme in my interviews with industry design professionals and healthcare organizations for my trend report on the acute care sector.

Project teams shared a range of solutions, from strategically placed supply rooms to decrease walking distances for staff to “must-have” break and respite areas. I’m glad to see this important topic is getting the attention it deserves. (And stay tuned for more attention-grabbing strategies in our August issue, which celebrates the 2024 Showcase winners.)

HCD Welcomes Senior Editor Robert McCune

On the note of staffing, we’ve got some exciting news of our own. This spring, HCD, and our sister publication Environments for Aging, welcomed Robert McCune as senior editor.

He brings more than two decades of reporting and journalism experience to our team, and we’re excited to have him on board.

Anne DiNardo is editor-in-chief of Healthcare Design and can be reached at anne.dinardo@emeraldx.com.