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Posts tagged ‘Healthcare’

Improving Mental Health Care in Sonoma County

A small but important TLCD Architecture project was featured in an article, ‘County Overhauling Mental Health Services for Those in Crisis’ in today’s Press Democrat. The Sonoma County Crisis Stabilization Unit is a new facility that will replace the existing, outdated facility currently housed in the old Sonoma County (recently Sutter) Community Hospital complex on Chanate Road.

The Crisis Stabilization Unit will expand and improve the County’s emergency mental health services which treat 4500 clients each year. This new, larger facility located at The Lakes business park in west Santa Rosa will be more accessible to the clients they serve and visible to the community. In addition to providing services to adults, it will also provide much needed services to adolescents who are currently among the most underserved in the North Bay mental health care community. Project Manager Jason Brabo, Project Architect Carl Servais, Project Captain Julie Wycoff and Interior Designer Domenica Sheets are the project team.

The 15,000 sf unit is a Tenant Improvement in an existing business park and has been designed to meet the specific needs of the clients and staff. It will serve those who come in on a voluntary basis as well as those who arrive involuntarily or by law enforcement and will provide a calm, clean and welcoming place for them to access treatment.

Inside the Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital. TLCD Architecture recently completed renovations at this mental health hospital in Santa Rosa, CA. The finishes selected create a warm, welcoming atmosphere conducive to healing. The same design approach is being used in the Sonoma County Crisis Stabilization Unit.

Inside the Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital. TLCD Architecture recently completed renovations at this mental health hospital in Santa Rosa, CA. The finishes selected create a warm, welcoming atmosphere conducive to healing. The same design approach is being used in the Sonoma County Crisis Stabilization Unit.

The Crisis Stabilization Unit is the second mental health services project TLCD has worked on – the first being the recently completed 95-bed Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital, mentioned in the article.

Mental health facilities present a wide range of design challenges and requirements. Clients need a safe and secure place in which to be treated where they cannot harm themselves or others, and the built environment should support that. Staff also need to be able to observe and monitor clients at all times. The finishes play a large role in creating a warm and welcoming environment while also being durable. The right finishes and color palette can help create a hospitality feel rather than an “institutional” feel. Natural lighting is used as much as possible because evidence has shown that natural light helps balance moods and aids the healing and recovery process. As Stephen Parsons, client case manager at the facility noted in the article, “It will be the kind of place where people who walk in will feel welcome.”

TLCD’s design team has worked closely with the Crisis Stabilization Unit care providers to create a space that will greatly improve emergency mental health care for Sonoma County residents. The work is interesting, complex and challenging. It is also very satisfying to know that the work we do will help improve care for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Healthcare Design 09 Conference

Jason, Stephen and I just returned from the Healthcare Design Conference in Orlando on Wednesday. We had a busy weekend touring hospitals in the Orlando/Daytona area and went on to two days of meetings early in the week. The conference is growing. This year there were 2,600 attendees. Some observations:
• The Florida hospitals we saw were all very nice with a high level of amenity and very focused on patient centered care. These hospitals cost about half what we experience in California. The hospitals are highly competitive and amenity is a big factor in consumer choice.
• At the same time there were a number of Evidence Based Design initiatives in the hospitals there was a noticeable lack of sustainable design. The building exteriors (throughout Florida) had no external shading or orientation specific response. The interiors and systems had very little apparent concern for energy conservation or sustainable materials. While one architect from a firm’s New York office wrote a prominent book on sustainable healthcare architecture and spoke at the conference on those topics, her colleagues could not speak to any of those sorts of initiatives in their Florida projects.
• I went to some very good roundtables and education sessions. The access to the people leading the charge and publishing on Evidence Based Design was just great. I found the smaller roundtables to be most engaging.
• There were two distinct groups at the conference, the researchers and the implementers. The researchers were from the largest firms, hospitals and universities. The implementers were primarily architects and those administering hospitals and healthcare facilities. The researchers spent more of their time talking about methodology and process while the implementers were hungry for ideas that they could design into facilities.
We have some new resources:
• Evidence Based Design for Multiple Building Types; EBD moves beyond healthcare, just a little
• Research Laboratories: a logical extension of the healthcare world
• Place Advantage: Applied Psychology for Interior Architecture
• HERD: Health Environments Research and Design, we now subscribe to this journal
These books and journals will reside outside my office on the counter or in the Healthcare Studio. Some good books on Sustainable Healthcare Architecture and the Visual Resource for Evidence Based Design. Alan says “check them out”
ConferenceEDORGinzburg Ext

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