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

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The Leaflet Article


Symposium Conference Program Unveiled

Jenabeth Ferguson, Vice President, Symposium Director

It is finally here!  Our 2013 conference program was unveiled last week.  Have you checked it out yet?  You really should take some time to look over the amazing sessions we have put together for you this year.  Some of our “fan favorites” are back like Marc Sauvé with Gresham Smith, Deborah Burnett with Benya Burnett Consultancy and Walter Vernon with Mazzetti Nash Lipsey Burch.  We have folks from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Nemours Children’s Hospital in Florida, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Baystate Health in Massachusetts coming to share their stories and expertise with us in October. 

Putting the program together for you every year is truly a labor of love.  It starts with stacks and stacks of session proposals - as much as I try to run a green office, I have to print them.  I need to live, breathe and touch them in order to understand each submission, how they relate to the others and where/if they fit into the program overall.  At the same time a committee of advisory board members are reviewing them and this year we had our largest committee yet.  What that meant was I then had to digest over a dozen other people’s opinions, thoughts and comments.  And if you think having more eyes on the submissions would make the final selection process easier, you would be wrong.  All it did was demonstrate to me how subjective conference sessions are to the wide variety of professionals the Symposium serves.  

You folks sit around the table on projects with other architects, engineers, contractors, interior designers and administrators. You know how varied the opinions are and what it’s like to have everyone coming at a project with their own perspective.  Well, imagine trying to program sessions that will appeal to all those folks.  It’s not easy, but it sure is fun!  I look at proposals and think of specific attendees and think, “oh, he will like this . . . but she won’t find it interesting,” and vice versa.  The trick is not only finding the right mix of sessions but also placing them in the right time slots and throughout the 3 days so we do our best to educate everyone.  In order to accomplish that, we have a whole series of checks and balances we go over once the program is assembled. 

Finally, there comes the point where you have to release it and hope everyone sees the logic that went behind choosing each session and placing it where we did. Because I can assure you that every session was selected for a specific reason and every placement was made with a lot of thought.  If you are looking at the program and have questions or if you want to know which sessions would be most interesting to you please contact me (see my email below) as I am more than happy to help you navigate through it.

You can see the entire program at a glance by clicking here.  Oh, and we have not announced our keynotes or facility tours yet . . . so stay tuned!  For up-to-date information on the Symposium make sure you follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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

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

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