Giving Thanks

I’ve made a practice for decades of deliberately taking time to reflect as one year closes out and another begins. I like to take stock, appreciate all the challenges and successes the last 12 months brought, and be thoughtful about my hopes and goals for the next 12. I find it both cathartic and inspirational.

As we move into 2022, there are two incredibly difficult years behind us and no clear vision yet of what’s to come. Wins in 2021, both large and small—from an available COVID-19 vaccine to reuniting as a community at October’s Healthcare Design Expo & Conference in Cleveland—give us reasons for cautious optimism and celebration.

At The Center for Health Design, we also have much to celebrate. We expanded our international reach with people from around the globe joining our programs and events. We built new partnerships to embark on research projects that address modular design and prefabrication in healthcare as well as design standards in memory care settings. We also produced four virtual workshops and 36 webinars, in addition to two virtual social events that were just for fun and to bring our community together.

In 2022, we’ll continue to focus on our three pillars of research, education, and advocacy through virtual and in-person design workshops on behavioral health, aging, infection prevention, and modular/prefab building. We’ll also gather as a community at the Healthcare Design and Environments for Aging conferences and virtually through our Icons and Innovators, Journal Club, and Voices online webinar series.

There’s also part of our year that remains a blank canvas, as we wait for the chance meetings and conversations that will inspire new tools and resources to support our industry. Those new ideas and collaborations are critical to address many of the issues and challenges we face.

We’ll also have to add to the depth and breadth of our knowledge and skills, joining others in a multidisciplinary pursuit of the best solutions. Thankfully, many of us consider ourselves lifelong learners. As we move into a new year, there are abundant ways to deepen and broaden our exposures and experiences.

Some of us go back to school and earn additional degrees and certifications, while others look into online, college-level courses from multiple universities. We can also easily access insights, ideas, and predictions by some of the world’s brightest minds, with two of my favorites, TED Talks and MasterClass, offering a surprisingly diverse group of fascinating people sharing their crafts.

Travel is also top on my list for expanding knowledge through experience. Study abroad programs, travel adventures through organizations like Road Scholars, and even watching documentary films can help get you out of your comfort zone, have some fun, and open your mind to the thrill of the unexpected.

Make it your goal for 2022 to add some new knowledge, experiences, or skill sets. It will impact your life in a multitude of ways. As we close out the year, I thank you for your continued support of The Center and wish you happiness and good health in the New Year.

Debra Levin is president and CEO of The Center for Health Design. She can be reached at dlevin@healthdesign.org.

The post Giving Thanks first appeared on HCD Magazine.

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