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Jul 26, 2019

In the second part of my conversation with the talented Sara Parsons, Principal at Gallun Snow Interior Design, Sara discusses the importance of artwork, color and furnishings in the behavioral and mental healthcare setting. She says, “The evolution of the design in behavioral and mental health facilities is exciting right now because there are finally options that don’t look like a prison aesthetic.” I’m excited to share the second part of our conversation now. Visit to learn more about Sara Parsons and Gallun Snow Interior Design.

Thank you to our industry partner The Center For Health Design! Learn more about how CHD can support your firm by visiting:

And to the American Association of Healthcare Interior Designers, thank you for your support of this program. Enhance your professional credibility by earning the Certified Healthcare Interior Design credential. Visit for more info.

In part two of this episode you will learn:

  • How focused listening to the client and a deeper understanding of the culture of the end users in a building leads to the most impactful of design details in a hospital or healthcare space.
  • How to take a lesson learned on a previous project and apply it to your current one.
  • How young Sara was influenced by her rehabilitation physician Dad’s story about a quadriplegic patient in the rehab hospital.
  • Sara’s recommendations to new designers just starting out or those in the field or existing interior designers who want to move into the healthcare design space.
  • What makes the design of a healthcare space successful for Sara.
  • How to balance the needs of the healthcare provider with the patient and their family support systems through the design of a space.
  • What it was like for Sara to be a designer when ADA laws were first passed and how that influenced a historic preservation of a project.
  • Understanding the challenges of the people that Sara (and her team at Gallun Snow) design for is the fun part of healthcare design for Sara.
  • The millennial generation is the generation that is most focused on making a difference and why this is important to the field of healthcare design.
  • The evolution of the design in behavioral health is exciting right now because there are finally options that don’t create a prison aesthetic in the mental health setting.
  • According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 adults in the US experience mental illness in their life in any given year. 1 in 25 adults experiences serious mental illness in the United States, in any given year.
  • What patients need most in mental and behavioral health facilities is empathy, understanding and comfort, and not just removing potential dangers from the environment. 

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