University of Kansas Students Win Inaugural Steelcase Health Collegiate Healthcare Design Competition

Steelcase Health, along with The Center for Health Design, and HEALTHCARE DESIGN MAGAZINE are pleased to announce the winning submission in the 2011 Steelcase Health Collegiate Healthcare Design Competition:

The University of Kansas — “Nourish Newborns” – submitted by Lauren Gloriod, Sara Mae Martens, Rhaynelina Estevez, Lindsay Slavin and Alex Jones. The team’s professional advisor was John Kelly, principle and design director of Tchoukaleff Kelly Hartke Inc.

For this conceptual design competition, students were challenged with a theme of “waiting.” They researched the current challenges within the selected healthcare environment, determined opportunities for improvement, shared their thought processes and prepared presentations demonstrating unique ways to improve the environment and/or processes within.

The KU team’s entry tackled the issue of waiting in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs). They tapped into existing research on NICU and ICU spaces and conducted interviews with people with personal NICU waiting experiences.

Their hypothesis: Research shows that family participation with neonates has a positive effect on the newborn. Therefore, providing waiting spaces that care for the families becomes crucial. In the NICU, the implementation of a range of spaces which provide support for waiting families will result in lower stress levels for families, comprehensive care for families, improved safety, and increased market share.

Their solution: A design approach of dividing the waiting area into three spaces to address the variety of problems associated with NICU waiting. Dividing the total area into three smaller areas with separate functions, including: a quiet, meditative space, an information area, and a positive distraction space, helped to meet the needs of all.

Frank Zilm, D.Arch, FAIA, FACHA, Chester Dean Lecturer in Healthcare Design and the KU academic advisor for the winning team said the students were thrilled to hear that their submission was chosen as the top entry from 47 teams. “We’ve got a pretty happy group of campers here,” said Zilm. “They worked hard on their project and are thrilled to have that work recognized as well as have the opportunity to attend the HealthCare Design 2011 Conference.”

Zilm said that he used the competition as a framework for his student’s spring semester curriculum and that the students responded strongly to the challenge. That’s a bit of an understatement indeed, as all three of Kansas University’s teams were selected as finalists, including the “Expanding the Waiting Experience to Reduce the Perceived Waiting Time” entry submitted by Daniel Gonzales, Graham Sinclair, Niyanta Gopal, Rhett Morgan and Sharmin Kader – which received an “honorable mention” from the judges.

Final judging was conducted by Janet Kobylka (HOK), Caroline Kelly (Steelcase Health), Carolyn BaRoss (Perkins + Will), Lynette Tedder (Perkins + Will) and Fran Hoerrmann (Cannon Design).

The winning team will have a trip to the annual HCD.11 conference in Nashville underwritten by Steelcase Health and HEALTHCARE DESIGN MAGAZINE and will be honored at a special awards breakfast at the conference.

The inaugural Steelcase Health Collegiate Healthcare Design Competition received overwhelming student response as well as an outpouring of support from the Architecture and Design community – with literally dozens of the nation’s very best health care design professionals offering to mentor a team or to serve as a judge. Thanks to all of you who participated and volunteered to help make this competition a rousing success.

Watch for more information on the winning team’s entry and the events at the HCD.11 Conference in the November and January issues of HEALTHCARE DESIGN MAGAZINE and via the Steelcase Health blog.

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