Healthcare Innovation Seminar Joins Experts Across Fields

The new Healthcare Innovation Seminar offered by the School of Interior Design in spring 2019 is the first of its kind, joining together interdisciplinary scholars to combine expertise to study healthcare design from multiple lenses.

Students of numerous disciplines, including graduate and undergraduate students in the areas of interior design, landscape architecture, business administration, kinesiology, biology, marketing, and engineering, participated in the first semester in the spring of 2019. Course instructors include experts in architecture, health and community development, and more.

The research-based course aims to educate about innovations in the healthcare arena from numerous vantage points, to arrive at a more developed perspective for all students. The course focuses on the intersection of the built environment, technology, biology, and looks to the future of healthcare, in terms of design and overall changing trends.

“It is one of the most interdisciplinary courses in the College of Art & Design, and perhaps across LSU,” said Marsha Cuddeback, director of the School of the Interior Design. “Bringing together students of diverse disciplines is a great opportunity for students to interact across fields, bring completely different perspectives, and create high quality research.”

“In my 30-year career in healthcare design, I have witnessed the dramatic shift in the healthcare delivery model,” said Julie Elliott, interior design instructor. “Consumerism and self-care, uncertainty in healthcare payment reform, shifts from volume to value, growth of enabling technologies, and the delivery of care in settings closer to home are all burgeoning trends. These trends require that health organizations assess their geographic footprint and physical plant, as the built environment will play a critical role in the success of this future model of care.”

“All students that participate in the seminar, when they graduate, will have to move into fields that demand collaboration across different areas of specialization, so this course is providing great real world experience,” Cuddeback said.

There is a growing interest among students in healthcare design, Cuddeback said; as a result, the School of Interior Design is integrating more studio courses focused on the expanding field. Recent classes include Health and Wellbeing, instructed by Elliott, in which students researched and integrated Evidence-Based Design (EBD) best practices for outpatient facilities; students had the opportunity to shadow one of the primary care teams at Ochsner’s newly opened High Grove Medical Complex; and design studios in which instructor Andrew Baque’s students worked with Northlake Behavioral Health to design facility improvements.

In the fall, LSU interior design students will research and assess the built environment and health of the LSU population, exploring innovative ideas to elevate the health and wellness of students, faculty, and administration.