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Tuesday, September 17, 2019  |  3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Open to Conference Attendees Only

The Rapid Evolution of Behavioral Health Design and the Comeback of Acute Psychiatric Inpatient Services

Douglas Strout AIA, LEED AP
Healthcare Principal and Co-Practice Leader, Ratcliff
Kelley Lemon, LEED AP
Medical Planner and Healthcare Designer, Ratcliff
Michelle Malone, MPA
Director of Facilities, Chinese Hospital
Mary Kay Shibley, MSN, RN
Manager, Clinical Informatics and Electroconvulsive Therapy Services, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital
Phillip Soule, III, AIA, ACHA, DBIA
Principal, Cuningham Group Architecture
Steven Ward, AIA
Associate Principal, Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc.

Behavioral Health in the US has a complicated history since President Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Act into law in 1963. Subsequent funding cuts during the Reagan Administration transferred mental health treatment operations to the states and later correctional facilities for confinement and isolation. With the current emphasis to improve mental health treatment, priorities trend toward dignified care including privacy safety and comfortable environments There still remain challenges including the interpretation of applicable codes. The transformation of Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital is an example of those challenges and took place in a fully occupied and operational acute psychiatric hospital. The project addressed patient safety, included patient engagement through the use of collaborative art installations and group space, and engaged in challenging building and occupancy code interpretation for one of the most complex acute psychiatric hospital designs in recent years.


1. Participants will learn about emerging trends in behavioral health design and develop and understanding of strategies to adapt existing services for an increasingly diversified mental health patient population.

2. Through examples and a range of topics, participants will learn about evolving, applicable codes for mental health design and the potential for optimal and safe healing environments for mental health patients.

3. Through a case study example, participants will learn about the improvement of patient, staff, and visitor experiences in a reimagined psychiatric hospital and the associated challenges and opportunities in developing a high volume I-2/I-3 occupancy.

4. Participants will learn about emerging therapies for behavioral health including Snoezelen Rooms and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and their associated use, patient and staff flow efficient design, and support spaces.

SESSION FOCUS AREAS: = Generative Space = NOAH