By Bob Kain, AIA, ACHA, Principal

Last week, Sandy Smith, Senior Vice President, Real Estate, Facilities, Construction and Operations at Hoag Hospital, and I hosted the second advisory board meeting of the Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) Healthcare Architecture Initiative at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. Eighteen colleagues came together from DPR,  Jones Lang LaSalle, SnyderLangston, WareMalcomb, HOK, Health Care REIT, PMB, McCarthy, and Nelson-Okerlund, to discuss the future of the industry and the implications for the expansion of CPP’s healthcare architecture curriculum with Michael Woo, Dean, CPP College of Environmental Design; Hofu Wu, Professor, CPP Department of Architecture; and Judith Sheine, Chair, CPP Department of Architecture.

This initiative grew out of a conversation I had with fellow CPP alumnus, Sandy Smith, about a year ago. As we witnessed the rapid transformation of the healthcare industry, we wanted to do something that would impact the next generation of architects and get students excited about the field. With no such program in existence west of Texas, establishing a healthcare architecture topic studio at Cal Poly Pomona seemed like a natural fit. Last year, with support from Sandy and the HMC Designing Futures Foundation, CPP offered two seminars and a design studio on healthcare architecture. I participated in two lectures and I was really inspired by the creativity of the young minds in the room. Sandy and I also took CPP students on a tour of the Kaiser Fontana project. It was very rewarding to see students so eager to understand the challenges facing hospitals, staff, and patients and at the same time energized by the possibilities for the future of the industry.