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December 15, 2021

Jenabeth Ferguson
(203) 307-2696
[email protected]

Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo announces 2021 Symposium Distinction Awards

The 2021 Symposium Distinction Award Winners were honored at the annual Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo at the Austin Convention Center in Austin. The Awards program recognizes design teams, projects and individuals who have made a profound contribution to the healthcare design industry. The program accepts submissions of all types and sizes of patient care-related facilities. In addition it recognizes the best and most innovative new products within the healthcare design & construction industry. Medical Construction & Designsponsors the Symposium Distinction Awards.

The 2021 Symposium Distinction Award Winners are:

Spatio Metrics

Spatio Metrics is a software product that gives healthcare designers the data they need to champion design for outcomes.

Decades of research has shown how the built environment affects healthcare operations and the patient experience. But many facility design teams don’t have the data they need to champion design decisions, especially when it comes to proven qualitative concepts like natural light, nurse supervision, or patient privacy. Many powerful design interventions end up getting value engineered out of projects because designers don’t have the data, or the business case, to show how it can benefit the project’s bottom line.

For more information visit


Vaask is the only hand sanitizer fixture purposefully designed for modern interiors and features robust all-metal construction, real finishes of bronze and stainless steel, and high-capacity cartridges built to last. Inspired by the Norwegian word for “wash,” Vaask embodies clean lines and clean hands, ensuring you’ll never again compromise between form and function.

For more information visit

Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion submitted by NBBJ

Nationwide Children’s Behavioral Health Pavilion is unprecedented, creating a transformative model for pediatric behavioral health facilities across the United States. Challenges became opportunities, and the design process provided a unique avenue to redefine what a pediatric behavioral health center could be.

  • Designing for a unique patient population. As the pediatric behavioral health population is a sensitive population — the team was unable to communicate with them openly one-on-one about their needs — they relied on extensive data and research to design for them.
  • Creating indoor-outdoor connections. The project provides unprecedented outdoor spaces in a 10-story urban behavioral health facility that are safe and welcoming for patients, loved ones and staff. Yet through a rigorous design process, testing and feedback, the team created uplifting spaces that offer respite and connection to nature that are unlike any other facility.

For more information visit

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Omaha VA Ambulatory Care Center submitted by LEO A DALY

The VA’s first-ever public-private partnership (P3) revolutionizes veteran healthcare, providing a state-of-the-art medical home for veterans and a powerful unifying gesture to the larger Omaha VA community.

After the 1950-built Omaha VA Medical Center was passed over for scheduled replacement in 2010, a group of concerned citizens petitioned Congress to pass the CHIP-IN for Veterans Act. This law provided a legal avenue for $30 million of locally raised donations to be combined with $56 million of previously allocated federal funds to design and build a new clinic building. As a result of this arrangement, the design and construction team employed a collaborative project delivery method (CM-at-Risk) and were given considerable flexibility in adapting the VA’s design guidelines to project-specific criteria. The result is a landmark project, designed and built in just over half the time of comparable VA projects, and for $35 million less.

For more information visit

Pediatric Outpatient Center at Children’s National Research and Innovation Campus submitted by Array Architects

Formerly a military tuberculosis hospital as the site of the historic Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Building 52 of Children’s National Research and Innovation Campus has been transformed into 24 exams rooms, staff support space, and co-located with the main research building. The building is one part of the health system’s one-of-a-kind pediatric research and innovation hub.

The interior of the building was fully renovated, and the main structure of the building and brick elements remained throughout. On the exterior, some of the building’s newly constructed elements are designed to mirror the original design, including woodwork, glazing, and roofing. On the south façade, the tripartite windows were in disrepair and needed to be replaced in-kind. The sleeping porches were reclaimed as conditioned interior to help fulfill the programmatic requirements associated with a 24-exam room facility. To maintain a similar aesthetic to when the sleeping porches existed, the team enclosed them with full height curtain wall glazing, with black frames to recede into the background. The design employed strategies throughout to maintain openness, playfulness, and comfort. Keen attention was given to materials to ensure the durable and cleanable nature required for a clinical space, while being mindful of pairing them with materials that will help the overall patient and staff experience.

For more information visit

Josh Domingo with HDR

In the 16 years that Josh has been in the industry, he has worked tirelessly to expand his knowledge of designing healthcare facilities. His experience ranges from small community hospitals to large international facilities, yet he doesn’t let the size and scope of a project change how he approaches a problem. Josh is constantly looking for ways to create world-class facilities by studying and researching the latest design trends and innovations to deliver a product to his clients that not only serves as a healing environment for their patients, but also is a place that family members and staff can thrive as well. With a master’s degree in architecture from Clemson University’s Architecture + Health program, Josh’s career trajectory has seen him solely focused on health planning while bringing his in-depth knowledge of the healthcare industry and all-around understanding of architecture together to significantly provide the expertise needed to create truly healing environments.

Over the years, Josh has grown into a role that has him at the forefront of the design and planning of each of the projects that he’s involved. Utilizing his prior knowledge and data he’s garnered through researching latest trends, Josh’s ability to engage clinical users to ensure the right design decisions are made is just one of the characteristics that make Josh a successful designer and invaluable member of any team, which is why he was recently elevated to Senior Health Planner and Professional Associate. Because of his devotion to his craft and his eagerness to continue learning, Josh has become one of the most utilized and in-demand healthcare architects when it comes to designing hospitals for the future.

Victoria Navarro with Advocate Aurora Health

Victoria Navarro is a Regional Director in the Planning, Design and Construction Department at Advocate Aurora Health (AAH). Advocate Aurora Health is the 10th largest integrated not-for-profit health system in the United States serving communities across Illinois and Wisconsin. She has a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management from Loyola University Chicago and a Bachelor of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Victoria provides strategic direction and oversight to both system-wide and regional based capital construction projects including the management of healthcare facilities and corporate real estate portfolio. During the past 20+ years, Victoria has served as senior healthcare planner for national architectural firms. She provides the highest-level planning and design expertise to healthcare clients, guiding organizations to improved performance by applying lean processes and leading through Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).

She has delivered more than $1 billion in forward focused capital projects in the last 20 years, leading teams to analyze and solve complex challenges and achieve successful enterprise-level improvements. As a key team leader on the first LEED Healthcare Gold Certified hospital project in the Midwest, Victoria implemented standardized facility operations and room design, utilized modular and prefabricated construction, and the Integrated Project Delivery method. She has led multiple IPD teams using master service agreements that established shared risk and reward incentives with preferred providers.

The Distinction Award Winners represent a diversity of talent, creativity, innovation and passion to create healing healthcare environments, chosen by an elite panel of industry executives including:

James Atkinson
Vice President and Director, Healthcare Design and Planning
HDR, Inc

Marcus A. Budaus, AIA, ACHA, LEED® AP
Principal / Senior Vice President

Gary W. Collins, AIA, NCARB
Virtual Energy Solutions

Amy Douma, AIA, NCARB, and LEED AP
Vice President
HGA Architects and Engineers

For more information on the Symposium Distinction Awards, visit

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