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Sep 9, 2020

In the second half of Cheryl’s conversation today with Lesa Lorusso, PhD, MBA, Allied AIA, ASID, RID, NCIDQ, and Healthcare Director of Research & Innovation at Gresham Smith, they discuss Lesa’s research project, “Investigating the Impact of Multisensory Environments on Behavior for Veterans with Dementia.” Lesa shares, “That research project was a labor of the heart. I was fortunate at the University of Florida to be a part of an AIA sponsored research consortium called, ‘Vital By Design,’ with a focus on elder research.” Learn more about the synchronicities that led to Lesa’s work on the project and what fascinating research came out of it in part 2 of today’s episode. 

For more information on Lesa Lorusso and Gresham Smith and Partners, visit:

In Part 2 of Cheryl’s conversation with Lesa Lorusso, they discuss:

  • What was Lesa’s dissertation and her clinical trial with the VA, working with Veterans with Dementia using multi-sensory environments like, and why was this an area of interest?
  • What are the current statistics on dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in older adults in the United States and why this is a critical topic right now?
  • What’s wrong with current medications for dementia? How can we change this through the design of the built environment?
  • What the research says about the impact of multi-sensory environments on improving health for people living with dementia.
  • What are Lesa’s favorite projects and why?
  • What was it like for Lesa to grow up internationally, and as part of an extended military family with her dad’s work as a rescue helicopter and C-130 pilot and her mother’s work as an Air Force nurse influence?
  • What will hospitals look like in the year 2040?

Additional support for this podcast comes from our industry partners:

  • The American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers
  • The Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design

Learn more about how to become a Certified Healthcare Interior Designer®  by visiting the American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers at:

Connect to a community interested in supporting clinician involvement in design and construction of the built environment by visiting The Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design at

Thank you for listening to today’s episode of Healthcare Interior Design 2.0. If you enjoyed any part of Cheryl’s conversation today with Lesa Lorusso, please help our podcast grow by spreading the good word on social media and with your online community. Stay safe and be well. For the full roster of shows, visit


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