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PWC hosts second annual Healthcare Construction Forum
  • By Emily Davenport
  • /
  • Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017
  • /
  • 02:40 PM UTC

SUBMITTED BY PWC

PWC hosted its second annual Healthcare Construction Forum at Steelcase New York Showroom. The event began with an hour of networking followed by an engaging panel discussion. Maria Wilpon, Principal at Stantec and Amy Beckman Principal at HOK were the event co-chairs.

There is an expected 2 million square feet of healthcare construction to be added to the NYC landscape in the coming months, and PWC’s panel brought together a group of experts to discuss the future of healthcare construction.

The panel was moderated by Gina Kish, Principal at Stantec. Other panelists included Christina DeRose, Director of Real Estate and Space Management, Weill Cornell Medical College, Suzen Heeley, Executive Director of Design+Construction, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Siu-Wan Elsie Low, Director of Facilities Planning, Design+Construction, NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital.

Tracy Nichols, Healthcare Manager at Steelcase Health opened the event with a compelling story about a healthcare journey, reminding the audience of the most important people behind this new construction: the patient. “It’s important to step back and remember who we do this for,” said Tracy Nichols. Tracy’s message alluded to a key theme of the panel; the industry is shifting to a human-centered design approach inspired by hospitality and authenticity.

The panelists discussed their current and upcoming projects, what they are looking for from consultants and where they see the industry heading.

“We are not looking for what was done in the past. These [construction] projects span years, and we want our consultants to think about where we will be in 3 to 5 years,” said Suzen Heeley. Keeping up with the rapid change of medical technology and thinking ahead to what it will look like down the line is essential.

With changes in the way medicine is taught, medical classroom design has also been shifting. “The approach to teaching is more collaborative and doctors are working in more teams,” said Christina DeRose. “Space must address this.”

Siu-Wan Elsie Low discussed the importance of engaging physicians and nurses early on in the design process, and all panelists recognized how collaboration among design and healthcare professionals as well as a strong focus on technology and hospitality are key to healthcare construction in the coming years.

“Change is our new constant, so fasten your seat belts,” said Moderator, Gina Kish, in her conclusions.

PWC’s Healthcare Construction Forum is in its second year for a reason: forecast for construction in the healthcare sector is very strong and the industry is ready for innovation that will open doors to more effective practices and improved patient care. The event left attendees with a deeper understanding of what the future holds, and how companies can best position themselves to contribute and benefit from these developments and trends.

The event sponsors were Steelcase Health, KPMG, Mamais Construction, E-J Electric, HOK, Stantec and Citadel NY.