Healthcare design expert named to head college research center

Ray Pentecost

Ray Pentecost, one of the nation’s foremost advocates and practitioners of healthcare facility evidence-based design, is the new director of the Texas A&M Center for Health Systems and Design.

“College administrators and faculty look forward to helping Pentecost elevate the the center to the highest levels of excellence in scholarship, engagement with practice and outreach,” said Jorge Vanegas, dean of the College of Architecture, in making the appointment.

One of the world’s leading healthcare design research organizations, CHSD is a joint venture of the Texas A&M College of Architecture and College of Medicine. The center is home to the world's largest group of interdisciplinary faculty, students, and affiliated professionals committed to healthcare facility environment research and education. CHSD brings together experts from multiple disciplines to focus on sustainable, evidence-based design in the field of healthcare environments. CHSD research fellows examine how the built and natural environments affect patients, influence healing, pain relief, quality health care, physical activity, social interaction, work flow and other behaviors.

An American Institute of Architects and American College of Healthcare Architects fellow, Pentecost comes to Texas A&M from Clark Nexsen, a Virginia-based architecture and engineering firm, where he served as vice president of healthcare architecture since 2003.

“Pentecost has been an outspoken advocate for the use of research in design, a practice that is changing the way healthcare facilities, and indeed other building types, are designed,” said Todd Hutlock, editor-in-chief of Healthcare Design magazine, which named Pentecost to its 2012 list of the most influential people in the field.

He was a key contributor to numerous award-winning healthcare facility projects in Virginia, including the Hancock Geriatric Treatment Center, the Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center and the Sentara Center for Health and Fitness.

Pentecost has also advanced healthcare facility design in leadership roles in several advocacy groups.

As the 2009-10 board president of the AIA’s Academy of Architecture for Health, Pentecost led a drive to add healthy community design to the group’s mission statement.

“The result has been a broader perspective and scope of service for … the nation’s premier membership organization for healthcare architects,” said Todd Hutlock in Healthcare Design magazine.

Pentecost’s additional leadership roles include an appointment by the U.S. Secretary of Defense to serve on panels studying and developing construction standards for military healthcare facilities.

Since 2013, Pentecost has served as chairman of an AIA and National Institute of Building Science initiative to create a public, Internet-based repository for peer-reviewed research and case studies of the built environment from pre-design through occupancy and reuse.

Once established, the repository will serve as a one-stop storehouse containing quantifiable proof of the advantages of evidence-based design approaches, said Robert Ivy, AIA chief executive officer.

posted September 1, 2016