SEPTEMBER 19-21, 2023
Charlotte Convention Center - Charlotte, NC

Author: Jenabeth Ferguson

Thank You!

Last month we gathered in Long Beach for the 35th Annual Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo and what a tremendous success it was – with incredible buzz and high energy, compelling keynotes, conference sessions, networking and much more! I kicked off our event sharing some of my personal history with the Symposium and also how it has impacted my family. I thought I would use this space this month to share what I told the audience, with our entire Symposium community as I know not all of you were there in Long Beach.

1998 was the first time I became aware of the Symposium on Healthcare Design (our former name), and I was early in my career producing events, so I wasn’t always focused on the purpose of each event, but the Symposium was different. As the daughter of an engineer, I certainly could appreciate the impact of design on the experiences in spaces.

One year later the Symposium was to take place in Boca Raton, Florida in September but Hurricane Floyd had other ideas. We rescheduled the event three months later in Orlando and for the very first time I learned how to cancel and relaunch an event; skills I didn’t really need again until 2020. Back in 1999, I went to the Symposium and was asked to lead one of the tours and we went to Celebration Health.  Like all of you know, it’s great to talk about healing environments and how design impacts them but there is nothing like seeing it in person. Meanwhile, back home my family was moving my grandmother with Alzheimer’s to a nursing home so when I got home and first visited her, I saw the good and bad about where she was now living. My family thought I was crazy when I said the nursing station was in the wrong location.

Jumping ahead to this past winter, I was once again faced with a family member with Alzheimer’s needing to be placed in a facility.  This time it was my mother and I have been her primary caregiver so the responsibility of picking the right place was on my shoulders. I armed myself with everything I knew about Alzheimer’s and almost 20 years of my career solely focused on the Symposium.  All the hospitals and healthcare facilities across this country I have spent time in, all the sessions I have programmed, all the conversations I have had with all of you.  I felt bad for the folks I was meeting with because they were fully prepared to talk to a daughter looking for some place for their mother, which was a situation they had seen far too many times, but a daughter whose work focuses on healthcare design that was a whole other level of critique.

I visited five facilities and narrowed it down the best two. I will just tell you about one that didn’t make the cut. I met with the woman for over an hour and was really impressed with their programs and philosophies.  We walk into the memory care area, and I notice the residents’ apartments are all down a hallway with zero line of sight to the common areas.  As we walk down this endless hall where all the doors look the same there are handwritten signs on the walls telling ‘John Smith your room is this way’.  And I thought bad design negates all the best intentions in the world. In the end we were fortunate enough to select a facility super close to my home with some very good design aspects.

What I wanted to say to all of you is thank you for the pushing and questioning and changing you’ve done in the past 20 years to make the place I put my Mom so much better than the one my grandmother was in, which was really my Mom’s biggest fear.

Be well,

Jenabeth Ferguson
Vice President, Symposium Director
Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo


Media Contact:
Sophia Lapat
[email protected]


Attendees Enjoyed Exhibitor Innovations, Inspiring Keynotes, Engaging Sessions by
Industry Leaders & Networking Connections, September 27-29, 2022

Long Beach, CA (October 10, 2022) – Last week, thousands of manufacturers, architects, designers, engineers, contractors and healthcare leaders convened at The Long Beach Convention Center for the 35th annual Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo, HFSE, one of the country’s largest shows dedicated to healthcare design and facilities, energized attendees, exhibitors, speakers and partners with compelling Keynote Presentations, 100+ Exhibitors, Conference Sessions, Networking Events and much more.

“On the heels of a successful 2021 Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo in December, 2021, we were hoping for an even bigger, and more robust 2022 edition and it exceeded our expectations with incredible growth across all facets including attendance and exhibitor participation,” said Jenabeth Ferguson, Vice President, Symposium Director. “The excitement at this year’s event was palpable, as manufacturers, architects, designers, and healthcare leaders experienced unparalleled access to industry education, cutting edge new healthcare design products and services, and networking opportunities.”

Robust Conference

The Symposium featured three jam-packed days of educational and insightful Sessions and Keynotes by top industry leaders. The sessions spanned multiple topics including Pediatrics, Behavioral Health, and Community Health. This year’s keynotes included Liz Ogbu, Founder + Principal, Studio O, Oleksii Iaremenko, Deputy Minister for European Integration, Ministry of Health of Ukraine, and closing Keynote, Jessica Gutierrez-Rodriguez, Executive Director, Facilities Management & Operations, University of Texas Health San Antonio.


“I always enjoy attending HFSE because I feel that there is more content catered to hospital executives and planning, design and construction teams. It has been valuable in connecting with peer institutions to share knowledge and expertise, especially in such a challenging post-pandemic environment. There were many great perspectives and targeted strategies shared in presentations and owner-focused meetings that I’ll definitely leverage going forward. This year’s conference was especially great, to reconnect and see so many familiar faces and walk away feeling better about our industry as a whole.” Sean Collins, AIA, LEED AP, Executive Director, Facilities Planning, Design and Construction, Cedars-Sinai


“This year’s HFSE conference was full of heartfelt inspiration.  As we continue to provide healing environments in healthcare, we are more open as professionals to lead with our hearts.  The utilization and application of generative space will continue to be at the forefront of our actions.” Jessica Gutierrez-Rodriguez, Executive Director, Facilities Management & Operations, Facilities Management Department University of Texas Health San Antonio


Expo Hall

The Expo Hall featured the most innovative products and services in the healthcare facilities industry from some of the country’s top manufacturers and providers. Many exhibitors launched new products at HFSE, getting in front of important decision makers from healthcare facilities, architecture and design firms. The Expo Floor also featured two Design Solutions Theaters where the design team galleries came alive with 15 minute mini-presentations.


“The Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo offers the opportunity to connect with healthcare system executives, facilities managers, architects, and designers and gives exhibitors a chance to highlight their products and make new connections.” Nick Nichols, Director of Business Development, Skyline Art


“HFSE provides an incredibly professional venue that brings everyone together around the challenges and opportunities tied to healthcare design and is a premier networking opportunity for a diverse audience. Most importantly, they provide unparalleled support to their exhibitors. We will be back next year!” Raffi Baltayan, Marketing Manager, Unicel Architectural Corp.


“I was very pleased to represent PAC/Envac Automated Waste and Linen Removal at HFSE 2022 in Long Beach, CA. The event was intimate (and fun!) and really encouraged people to meet, learn, share, consult, help, and exchange ideas.  We made several valuable connections with whom we will develop long-term mutually beneficial relationships.  Thank you to all who helped plan and organize this wonderful event!” Lynne Klosowski, Marketing Specialist, Precision AirConvoy Corporation


“SwiftWall chose to exhibit at HFSE 2022 because of the show’s attraction to the healthcare industry’s elected clientele. From facility managers, architects, designers, planners, GC’s and manufacturers, we knew the right mix would be in attendance. SwiftWall’s 20×20 booth was a great way to showcase our product in real time. FLEX Wall is our newest product for the healthcare industry and we wanted our launch to be felt with dramatic entrance at HFSE.” BettyLynn Abercrombie, Account Executive, SwiftWall


“I am so glad that I decided to participate in the 2022 Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo in Long Beach, California! This was our first time participating and it exceeded all our expectations. The entire event was run smoothly by the HFSE team who were incredibly organized, quick to respond to all questions, and made the process easy. We were excited about the traffic to our Expo Booth. I would say to anyone thinking about participating-do it, you will not be disappointed!” Jim Carey, Vice President, West, Krug


Symposium Distinction Awards

The annual program recognized design teams, projects and individuals who have made a profound contribution to the healthcare design industry. In addition, it recognized the best and most innovative new products within the healthcare design & construction industry. This year’s winners included: Boston Children’s Hospital Hale Family Building (Team Award), Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Healing Clinic (User-Centered Award), Hoag On-Demand Care & Innovation Center (Adaptive Reuse Award), Tim Laboranti, Principal of Healthcare Design, BDA Architects (Individual Award), Stephen Parker, Senior Associate, Stantec (George Pressler Under 40 Award), AkitaBox Facility Condition Assessment Software (Most Innovative Product), Altro Tegulis (Most Sustainable Product) and Interface Desert Scapes™ (Architect’s Choice). New this year, the Founder’s Award was awarded to Francis Murdock Pitts, Principal of architecture+.


“I was humbled to be selected as this year’s George Pressler Under 40 Award recipient and celebrating with my Stantec colleagues from across the world who came here to HFSE. It was a wonderful experience to collaborate with my peers, consult with clients and congratulate everyone on the great designs on display throughout the conference.” Stephen Parker, AIA, NCARB, Senior Associate, Behavioral + Mental Health Planner Stantec Architecture


Networking Events and Raffle

HFSE is the place to mix and mingle with new and old friends at daily events including the Grand Opening of Exhibit Floor, Ice Cream Social, Happy Hour and the ever-popular Raffle. This year the Raffle raised $14,000 for Long Beach’s Algalita.


“Algalita was honored to participate as a charity partner at this year’s Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo. Using the raffle proceeds we received from the event, we will invest more than $14,000 in our environmental education programs that reach thousands of teachers and students every year. Thank you for supporting our work towards a world where plastic pollution is unthinkable!” Katie Allen, Executive Director, Algalita

For more information about the 2023 Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo (September 19-21, 2023), visit


The mission of the Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo is to create a multi-disciplinary environment that inspires you to evoke change and the advancement of a better delivery of healthcare through the physical space. Competitors, clients, and colleagues come together as friends to collaborate, share research, hear fresh perspectives and participate in the ever-changing conversation of your industry.


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