2021 Rising Star: Holly Harris

Current projects: Our team is in the final phase of an inpatient beds renovation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Galter Pavilion. The first phase of medical/surgical and observation beds was occupied this summer, and the ICU beds are near completion.

Sources of inspiration: Good people. Their enthusiasm, kindness, and advocacy to change the world are all reassuring that no matter what challenge you’re facing, there is always hope.

Trends you’re tracking: I love that healthcare institutions are embracing integrated care delivery and workspaces that promote team collaboration. I hear more and more requests for prioritizing the needs of staff in parallel with those of the patients, and that conversation needs to stay.

Best advice you’ve received: I have two, but neither can be credited to just one person. The first: “Don’t ask for permission; ask for forgiveness later.” I like to apply this mantra to pursuing things that I know are the best thing to do but maybe I don’t have the time to get buy-in from others. There are times if we wait too long, the opportunity is gone. So act with purpose.

The second: “Always ask questions.” I practice this daily, and it has helped me learn but also challenge the status quo. I encourage emerging professionals specifically to always speak up and ask the question.

Dream project: One that truly makes a difference in the longevity of the community in which it resides. If I can contribute to the planning and design of a healthcare facility that changes an individual’s perception of seeking care, then I feel like I’m making a difference.

Memorable pandemic moment: The ability to work remotely and spend more time with my family. I have no family in Chicago, and the flexibility to work anywhere during the last year gave me the opportunity to visit for extensive periods of time.

Your industry crystal ball says: We’ll amplify the integration of design concepts from other practices, i.e., workplace, hospitality, and retail, into our hospitals and clinics. Architects will consult on research and strategy to integrate programs and services into healthcare facilities that are specific to the community’s holistic wellness needs.

The post 2021 Rising Star: Holly Harris first appeared on HCD Magazine.

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