Press Release

Back to Press Overview

Jenabeth Ferguson


Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo, sponsored by Medical Construction & Design, announces 2019 Symposium Distinction Awards

The 2019 Symposium Distinction Award Winners, sponsored by Medical Construction & Design, were honored at the annual Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. 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.

The 2019 Symposium Distinction Award Winners are:


Most Sustainable
Migrations™ and Striations BBT™ with Diamond 10® Technology coating from Armstrong Flooring

Armstrong Flooring's Striations and Migrations BBT with Diamond 10 Technology coating delivers a sustainable flooring solution combining biophilic design, reduced maintenance, and long-term performance.  Carefully curated as complementary collections, Striations and Migrations offer a sophisticated palette of organic tones coupled with modular installation options to provide optimum design flexibility for healthcare spaces. With designs and colors inspired by nature, bio-based tile can help create a soothing environment for healthcare facilities, while providing long-term value with a true through-pattern that can withstand heavy foot and rolling load traffic.

To truly address climate change issues, it is important to consider not only the materials and processes used to manufacture products, but also the environmental impact of a product throughout its lifecycle. Armstrong Flooring recognized that the carbon footprint impacts that occur during routine flooring maintenance can surpass the initial cradle-to-gate carbon footprint within four years.

Learn more at

Most Innovative
MedModular by EIR Healthcare

As we become empowered by technology, healthcare is shifting towards a nimble and personal future. That’s why EIR created MedModular, the first company to disrupt the traditional approach to healthcare construction. Using advanced technologies and materials from the shipbuilding industry to deliver “smart rooms” cheaper, faster, and higher quality than what’s available anywhere — cornerstones for care that are focused on patients, not “fixed costs”.

MedModular is the world’s first application of prefabrication and modular technology of hospital rooms to ensure faster delivery and build times, and cost savings. The rooms are delivered 90% complete, wired with smart technology, for easy “Lego-esque” integration into hospital infrastructure. Through the MedModular method, healthcare organizations will experience a competitive price per square foot compared to traditional construction with up to 40% faster completion time.

Consistently one to break the mold, EIR Healthcare is also the first company to sell a hospital room on Amazon! As of January 2019, MedModular rooms are available to purchase online through As we delve further into the digital age of on-demand and now, Amazon's marketplace is shifting toward a more B2B focus, and MedModular settles right in there. Hospital facilities executives can purchase individual hospital rooms for uses such as simulation labs, allied health facilities, and urgent care facilities.


Architect’s Choice
Ligature Resistant Sliding Door System by Accurate Lock and Hardware

The Ligature Resistant Sliding Door System (LR-SDS) is the first of its kind and fills a void in the healthcare marketplace as a safer solution for behavioral healthcare environments.  It improves environmental safety, significantly reducing the possibility of patient harm by avoiding elements that might support self-injury, as well as preventing the possibility of patients hiding from caregivers.  The top door edge is not accessible as a ligature point and eliminates barricade tactics and door weaponization.  The concealed track system hangs a 1-3/4” thick door with minimal surface applied gap without any exposed anchor points or cavities.  The LR-SDS contributes to a smaller patient room, saving up to 45% of space.



Team Award
Advocate Outpatient Centers submitted by HDR

When Advocate Health Care (Advocate), Advocate Medical Group (AMG), and Advocate Dreyer Medical Clinic (ADMC)—now collectively Advocate Aurora Health—decided upon a new ambulatory strategy throughout the Chicagoland area, they needed a team who shared the same vision of a future with high-quality, affordable and accessible healthcare in the communities they serve. Through a collaborative partnership with an Integrated Lean Project Delivery (ILPD) team, a prototype was developed based on efficient operations, patient engagement, sustainability and technology for a clinic of the future.

The Project Vision was named Care360. This integrated ambulatory care model focuses on the broader context of how people connect to health, wellness and well-being. Because decisions that affect health are often made outside of the traditional healthcare system, those systems must be intentionally designed to cater to that need and ensure that operations, environments and approach to care are fully aligned to meet patients where they are, even outside of conventional boundaries.

It’s a lot like a loop. Though there are more than 30 clinics to be delivered over a 10-year planning horizon, each successive clinic will reap the benefits of the last through a continual learning process. The innovation that occurs in the collocated working atmosphere promotes a collective informed decision process that generates higher-quality treatment environments.

The entire Program is being delivered via Integrated Project Delivery using an Integrated Lean Form of Agreement (IFOA). The ILPD team has successfully executed 26 ambulatory clinics with incredible diligence, speed to market and cost savings.

Learn more about

Virtua Samson Cancer Center submitted by FCA

We reimagined how an old Acme Supermarket could be re-purposed as a bright, warm place of healing.  Starting at the front door, the White Box of the entrance is an off-balanced entry point: it reminds the visitor that, though cancer is not normal, it too is something we can pass through.  We created easy-to-navigate paths through the space with a central gallery, which serves as a landmark for patients and families. This concourse then leads to smaller intimate waiting spaces that provides a more personal scaled spaces to interact with clinicians and staff.

Learn more at

User-Centered Award
Anna Shaw Children's Institute, Hamilton Health Care System - ESA

One of the first of its kind in the country, this pediatric outpatient specialty clinic serves to diagnose and treat children with complex developmental disorders in a setting that encourages patient comfort.  With the pediatric patient population having specific needs for sensitivity and flow, the building was designed specifically around the needs of the patients who are aged from birth to 11. Incorporating evidence-based design principles, the architect worked with the owners to develop a child-focused design that also met comprehensive program needs and safety requirements.

Inspired by the existing wooded site, the project vision was to create a modern treehouse in the woods. Building massing incorporates a series of three distinct layers on axis with a historic 40-inch caliper oak tree at the base of the site. The three-story main lobby, which connects both the north and south entries, offers direct views of the historic oak. The building is divided into separate levels of a forest—the first floor: forest floor; the second floor: understory layer; the third floor: canopy layer; and the roof level; emergent layer. Rooted at the first-floor lobby play area, a 40’ tree sculpture spans all three levels.

Learn more at

George Pressler Under 40
Zachary Benedict with MKM architecture + design

Recommended by Dodd Kattman, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, MKM architecture + design

It is my pleasure to recommend Zach Benedict for the George Pressler Under 40 Award.  I have worked with Zach since his graduation and, at 32 years of age, he very quickly earned the role of principal in our firm. In the 6 years since Zach took on this leadership role, he has continued striving for excellence, growing professionally, and leading expertly. It is in the area of creating meaningful and engaging healing environments that I would like to share Zach’s contribution to healthcare design, and society.

In designing a range of different projects at MKM (e.g., hospitals, MOB’s, senior care facilities) Zach has risen as a national thought leader on the subject of public health, aging, and inclusive urban design.

The 65+ population throughout the United States is on track to increase from 40.2 million in 2010 to 72.1 in 2030 and sustainable communities will work to retain and attract older residents.

As an innovator, Zach has been quick to understand root issues and opportunities for interdisciplinary solutions for the challenges facing the aging population. Equally impressive are his abilities as a practitioner to frame the issues and opportunities in the form of clear strategies and action steps for local government officials and healthcare providers, highlighting his rare combination of research and leadership skills. His work creatively explores how planners and architects can collaborate with healthcare facilities, aging service organizations, public health advocates, academic researchers, and policy makers to develop new design approaches and best practices that can help communities evolve to improve the quality of life of their marginalized populations (e.g. older adults, pre-driving teens, low-income families).

Few healthcare designers, if any, have offered meaningful solutions to elderly support and integration into our communities.  The consequences of suburban sprawl in rural America and the resulting isolation which is exaggerated by traditional community development has dramatically altered the health and well-being of those unable or unwilling to drive, presenting a financial burden on society which is proving to be unsustainable.  Zach has been the most influential architects in the United States raising awareness of this problem as well as offering common sense architectural and community planning solutions.  These ideas have been echoed through his invitations to co-author books on the subject and present lectures at many of the most respected senior living and planning conferences in the country.

It’s not just talk.  Zach's cross disciplinary abilities as well has his gift for synthesizing and communicating solutions to complex problems has garnered recognition among national thought leaders on the subject. He has been selected to communicate these lifelong community concepts to cities and towns through planning engagements funded by leading health organizations such as the Pfizer Foundation.  It is through these efforts that I believe Zach has shown exceptional leadership and vision and has made significant contributions to the growth of MKM architecture + design and our service to the healthcare industry. 


Individual Award
Cyndi McCullough with HDR

Cyndi’s journey from nurse manager of a transplant and urology/nephrology unit to director of evidence-based design for a global healthcare design firm is a long and storied one more than three million miles according to her most recent frequent flyer statements. Her career in healthcare design spans more than 30 years and has provided opportunities for her to improve patient outcomes and staff efficiency on healthcare facilities in all corners of the world. She’s braved extreme temperatures to work with the native Inupiat people to help realize their vision for a new critical access hospital 340 miles north of the Arctic Circle. She knows what it’s like to be the only woman in the room--battling long-held cultural norms in the Middle East to earn immense respect for her ability to infuse evidence-based design and clinical efficiency standards into healthcare facilities there.  She’s as much at home leading a team reviewing the entire healthcare delivery system for the Island of Trinidad as she is working with deep empathy to ensure that a NICU provides compassionate care for families navigating uncertainty and fear. 

Cyndi understands firsthand how the physical environment impacts the ability to provide quality care. She began her nursing career in 1981, and soon discovered healthcare was fragmented, patient rooms were too small for families and equipment, and supplies were never where they needed to be. She embraced an opportunity to conduct some early patient-focused care research, which included a modest renovation that combined improved processes, new technology and changed behavior. The result was improved patient outcomes and satisfaction, and a happier staff who were able to work efficiently and effectively.

It is, perhaps, because she is a caregiver herself that clients trust and respect her so immensely; she speaks their language and understands their challenges because she has faced them herself.  Her influence during the past 30 years is staggering: 200+ projects for 164 different healthcare providers in 37 states and 14 countries. During those engagements, she brings a well-rounded understanding to facility operations, planning and programming. As a clinician and planner, she works with clients to understand the impact of strategic and operational planning, as well as technology, on space needs.

Cyndi’s own career at HDR has advanced in recognition of her dedication to life-long learning and dedication to her clients. In 2016, she was named a Principal Professional Associate of the firm—the only non-architect in a firm of 1,900 to ever receive this distinction.

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, Associate Principal / Senior Vice President, HKS, INC.
Gary W Collins, AIA, NCARB, Senior Director, Healthcare, Virtual Energy Solutions
Rolando Conesa AIA NCARB, Principal, NELSON
Amy Douma, AIA, NCARB, and LEED AP, Vice President, HGA Architects and Engineers

For more information on the Symposium Distinction Awards, visit More Information / Show Updates: Follow us on Twitter (@hcarefacilities), Facebook (Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo), and LinkedIn Group (Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo).

JD Events is dedicated to the creation of targeted and innovative industry-leading events that deliver results. The company brings together highly qualified buying audiences, education-rich content and high-level