2021 Rising Star: Danielle Ford

Current projects: I’m working on an outpatient and research facility at Mount Sinai West 58th Street as well as an inpatient rehabilitation facility and hybrid operating room at Mount Sinai Morningside Campus, all in New York City.

Dream project: To design and construct an out-of-the-ground hospital in New York City.

Sources of inspiration: Helping others and giving back. I have always been passionate about doing things that can make a difference in someone’s life. What drives my work is knowing that the critical healthcare projects provide a facility to help and care for those less fortunate. On a more personal level, my favorite form of giving back is running marathons for a charity, which I have done three times and there is no feeling like it!

Best piece of advice you’ve received: “The only time I set the bar low is for limbo,” said by the character Michael Scott in “The Office.” It’s a great show, and this quote makes me laugh because I also love limbo. Nevertheless, I’m constantly driven by the need to do my best. We only have one life to live, why not give it our all?

Trends you’re tracking: I’d like to see what the future brings as artificial intelligence in healthcare is taken to higher levels. It’s quite remarkable how every day new technologies can completely alter both the clinician and patient experience.

Memorable pandemic moment: The first time everyone in my community got together to clap and bang pots and pans to say “thank you” and show appreciation for the healthcare workers and first responders in New York. Despite what was going on globally, all the sadness and uncertainty, it was inspiring to see communities come together to do what they could to help one another and raise spirits in fighting the

Another moment from last year that stays with me was my first trip to a healthcare site to survey during the pandemic the first week in April, where most people were working from home. I was working on an ICU bed conversion emergency response project. This project was being built due to the mandate to increase bed capacity to support the pandemic. I was filled with anxiety and fear of being in the hospital for a full day exposed to the unknown.

I remember running out of there as fast as I could in my mask and gloves, barely able to find my way out as it was my first time in that hospital. I got in the car to head home and called my mom, who is a nurse. I remember thinking how grateful I was for my mom, and all the healthcare heroes and first responders that were out there every day, before and after the pandemic, doing their jobs to save lives.

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