September 21-23, 2021
Austin Convention Center | Austin, TX

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Industry News for the entire team who designs, plans, constructs and manages healthcare facilities

The Leaflet Article


Different by Design

Jenabeth Ferguson

I been traveling a lot lately including attending the PDC last month in Nashville. I love seeing other places in this country and meeting with people from all around the globe. But truth be told, traveling for work can take its toll. You not only lose time in the office and are not able to get to those tasks on your schedule, but it also impacts your personal life.  There are arrangements to be made for kids, elderly parents, pets and homes.  It is one of the driving forces in making sure the event we produce each fall is worthy of the effort it takes all of you to attend. Let’s be honest, there are a lot of events for you to choose from each year and so it is always our mission to make sure the Symposium is worth your effort, time and resources. 

In recent years we have embraced the theme of different by design. What exactly does that mean? At one point it meant staying in Chicago for 10 years which allowed us to fully explore a thriving architectural and healthcare city. Now we are on the road but instead of picking predictable locations we go to places like Austin, Texas.  

We are the only healthcare design event with a volunteer advisory board who represent every discipline from architect to contractor to clinician.  They come from large health systems to small design firms to manufacturers. They are not reimbursed for their time and you cannot buy your way onto this board. You have to demonstrate a dedication to our industry and the Symposium that goes above and beyond everyone else. 

We truly embrace the ENTIRE design team.  The best example of this I can think of is last year where in one room we had the Facilities Guideline Institute conducting a hands-on workshop in conjunction with the American College of Emergency Physicians.  Design professionals, students and clinicians worked side by side in ER mockups.   Across the hall in another room was the National Organization of Arts in Health conducting their inaugural conference with over 100 artists and art therapists.  Both groups advancing the environment of healthcare delivery but from very different perspectives. Instead of doing so at their own conferences they were together at the Symposium. Yes, we have different sessions for all the disciplines but at the same time we have case studies that everyone is interested in or keynotes that inspire all. This melting pot of attendees network and engage so they can learn from each other and become better together. 

We have often done things a little differently than the other industry events and it works, not just for the sake of being different.  It works because it gives all our attendees, speakers, exhibitors and partners great value when they spend 3 days each year together at the Symposium. 

As you plan your fall schedule and decide which trips are worth packing up and leaving your family and home for, I hope you keep in mind why the Symposium is different and put us on your calendar. 

I look forward to seeing you in Austin in October! 

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

P.S. Have a thought about the Symposium? Please feel free to contact me at any time at

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