Healthcare Consulting Thought Leaders

  • David C. Grandy, FACHE, CMPEDirector of Strategic Innovation

    A former healthcare administrator turned healthcare innovation authority for HDR (the world's No. 1 healthcare design firm), David is helping healthcare organizations throughout the world embrace the start-up mentality and leverage their in-house intellect to drive innovation. Using a process he created called SYNAPSE, he combines design thinking with strategy to examine complex problems and explore traditional constraints using nontraditional thinking. He promotes the idea of co-creation, believing that the key to spreading ideas throughout an organization is to inject as many people as possible in the design process. And once high-caliber ideas have been developed, he works with designers, engineers, technologists, architects and strategists to bring these ideas to life as scalable solutions.

    Currently, David is the managing director of strategic innovation at HDR, integrating human-centered design and strategy to help organizations explore the evolution of their business and find their place in the future. His work on five continents and with clients ranging from Kaiser Permanente to Google and the Ministry of Health for the countries of Jordan and Trinidad and Tobago, landed him on the cover of the May 2013 issue of Building Design + Construction magazine.

  • Brandy OlsonDirector of Operations Design

    Brandy connects with healthcare clients by combining the analytic prowess of an engineer with the understanding of a healthcare administrator. That's because she's been both. She's created the Operations Design team at HDR to combine proven process improvement strategies with newly developed tools that bridge the gap between healthcare organizations' current realities and future operations. In a collaborative process designed to break down preexisting organizational silos (including those engaged to plan, design, and construct facilities), she guides healthcare clients towards change by prioritizing goals, reviewing current state processes, identifying key issues and successes, and designing ideal future state concepts. Once the current process is analyzed and deconstructed, she uses simulation and data analysis to predict, model, and optimize future facility designs.

    A self-described "data geek," Brandy has witnessed first-hand how healthcare works and where processes can be improved. After earning her BS and Master of Engineering, she joined Nebraska Medical Center as a Six Sigma Black Belt and eventually went on to manage the hospital's Perioperative Services Operations. In 2011, she created the Operations Design team at HDR, capitalizing on the need for healthcare organizations to optimize current processes within their existing or future infrastructure. Not content to simply work within existing facilities, she pioneered the integration of parametric modeling and simulation modeling as a tool for process improvement and facility design—also known as Data Driven Design. Brandy has spoken internationally about Data Driven Design, including conferences in Germany and the UK, and her presentation for 2013's Health Datapalooza, "Virtual to Reality: Simulation Modeling in Health Facilities," was recognized by the Washington Post.

  • James J. Atkinson, AIA, LEED AP, EDACDirector of Healthcare Planning

    Jim is recognized as an expert in the planning and design of complex, state-of-the-art health care facilities, bringing transformative ideas to a variety of health care planning and design projects.

    He developed a passion for creating healing environments early in his architectural career, through first-hand observations as a patient and through experiences in graduate school that showed him the inspiring effect architecture can have. Jim received his highly specialized Master of Architecture degree in Healthcare Planning and Design from Clemson University and he has also studied abroad at the Daniel Center for European Study and Architectural Research in Genoa, Italy.

    Throughout his 24-year career, Jim has become a recognized national expert in designing flexible environments that encourage collaboration, accommodate advanced technology, and support leading research to develop positive outcomes. Jim's projects have received many design awards, including regional and national AIA awards, as well as international design awards. He is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and has been published in a number of healthcare architecture publications. Jim also blogs for Healthcare Design magazine.

    "We are in the midst of a major transformation of the health care delivery system and for the new system to be relevant, it will need to change its focus from disease management, to the promotion of health and wellbeing. The question for the future isn't if we will always have high-tech, high acuity, hospitals; the question is whether the majority of health care encounters can be moved to lower cost, lower energy consuming settings, out in our communities and in our homes."