Session Detail

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018  |  8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Open to Conference Attendees Only

Rural Healthcare Facilities as Innovation Incubators

Amy Douma, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Vice President, HGA Architects and Engineers
Danielle Gearhart, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer, Gundersen St. Joseph's Hospital
Kiki Werkheiser, EDAC, CLSSGB
Work Process Specialist, HGA Architects and Engineers

While urban health systems are often credited with driving healthcare innovation, rural facilities can be fertile ground for new ideas. Staffing and funding shortages, changing community needs – the fundamental challenges of rural care – can engender creative solutions that push the boundaries of traditional thinking and leverage staff and space in new ways. What are some examples of recent innovations, and how can they enhance other facilities – at scales both large and small? How were these ideas generated, and how can similar processes encourage “out of the box” thinking? This session will use case studies to answer these questions. From universal platforms that “shape-shift” as needs change, to hospitals designed for outpatient conversion – these projects showcase unique strategies adopted by rural providers that could reshape care delivery. The session will also examine the processes used to uncover breakthrough ideas and encourage staff to embrace new delivery concepts.



1. Explore emerging operational and planning strategies that challenge traditional patient care boundaries.
2. Identify potential roadblocks in creating interdepartmental care platforms and learn how to navigate them.
3. Review processes that engage leadership and front-line staff in innovating traditional care models and designing shared, flexible space.
4. Learn how to cultivate the cultural shifts that promote efficiency, adaptability and collaboration.

SESSION FOCUS AREAS: = Generative Space = NOAH