Specialty Centers Thought Leaders

  • 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."

  • Jason-Emery Groën, B.E.S., B.Arch, OAA, OAQSenior Healthcare Designer

    Jason-Emery Groën is an award-winning and versatile senior architectural designer with over 14 years experience in the industry. Groën's enthusiastic style and creative manner has made him a strong team leader and advocate for design integrity within commissions in various international settings. His approach is to fully understand and engage each architectural challenge and to help clients, colleagues and all those associated with a project see the full potential of inherent opportunities. Each design solution strives to integrate with and respect its context while bringing innovation. His project work ranges from the detailed design of high-end modern furniture and fixtures at a small scale to the design of complex healthcare facilities and urban planning solutions. Actively participating in design juries and as Adjunct Faculty of the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Queen's University, Groën regularly lectures on contemporary topics in design.

    "This is an opportunity to share experiences, learn from each other and develop a sound understanding of the context that will enable municipal, regional and national progression to a self-sustaining approach to improved healthcare delivery."

  • Cyndi McCullough, RN, MSN, EDACDirector of Clinical Planning

    With more than 30 years of experience as a registered nurse in the healthcare industry, Cyndi brings a clinical and operational understanding to facility programming. LEAN certified and EDAC accredited, Cyndi is highly skilled in directing process improvement through work redesign, influencing and managing change, interacting with patients, staff and physicians, and building strong working relationships.

    She is also the editor of a book, published in August 2009 by Sigma Theta Tau International, which addresses the rising prevalence of evidence-based design for healthcare environments. Titled, "Evidence-based Design for Healthcare Facilities," major topics of the book include aesthetics, healing environments, family-centered care, sustainability, benchmarking, transitions, efficiency and preparing for the future of healthcare.

    " "Evidence-based Design for Healthcare Facilities' is the product of a successful collaboration of our experienced staff to produce a book that will be used by nurses, physicians, administrators and healthcare students nationwide as they redesign healthcare environments that improve health outcomes at a reduced cost of care to support the diverse needs of patients, families, and staff."