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Dec 7, 2018

Join in this soulful conversation with nationally known physician and PBS host Dr. Richard Jackson of the Designing Healthy Communities Series, viewed in 4 million homes in the United States.

Dr. Jackson is Professor emeritus at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. A pediatrician, he has served in many leadership positions with the California Health Department, including the highest as the State Health Officer.

My favorite part of our conversation was Dr. Jackson’s down-to-earth vibe, how easy he was to talk to and how generous he was in sharing human stories and information about healthcare design and important public health issues we face today.

For nine years Dr. Jackson was Director of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health and received the Presidential Distinguished Service award. In October, 2011 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Jackson was instrumental in establishing the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program and in the creation of state and national laws to reduce risks from pesticides, especially to farm workers and to children. While at CDC he established major environmental public health programs and instituted the federal effort to “biomonitor” chemical levels in the US population.

He has received its Hero Award from the Breast Cancer Fund, Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Public Health Law Association and the New Partners for Smart Growth, the John Heinz Award for national leadership in the Environment, and the Sedgwick Medal, the highest award of the American Public Health Association. In 2015 he received the Henry Hope Reed Award for his contributions to the field of Architecture. Reach out to Dr. Jackson by sending an email to:

In the episode you will learn:

  • How Dr. Jackson’s medical traumas as a child influenced his decision to become a pediatrician and later, his work in public health.
  • The challenges that hospitals face with its surrounding communities and ideas to solve them.
  • How today’s healthcare architects, developers, and designers can help design more sustainable buildings that make patients and their families feel more comfortable.
  • Many of the creative details the architecture firm David M. Schwarz used in the design of Cook Children’s Medical Center in Forth Worth, Texas like establishing a comfort room on the top level of the hospital (closest to heaven) for children in hospice care.
  • What Florence Nightingale did for wounded soldiers in hospitals during the Crimean War that still influences hospital design today.
  • How public health in the United States has helped us live 25 years longer.
  • How the intelligent design of stairs in healthcare buildings is essential to public health and building human interactions.
  • How to integrate the hospital setting into the surrounding community with things like art and music in the lobby.
  • What problems hospitals face today with continued growth.
  • Why hallways in buildings have traditionally been perceived by humans as scary places how they can be designed differently to ease anxiety.

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