I had a wonderful time reconnecting with longtime colleagues and making new connections at this year’s International Summit & Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design & Construction (PDC Summit) in San Diego. The PDC Summit always serves as a great reminder of the importance of data-driven and evidence-based practices and a spirit of innovation in our profession. It also highlights the crucial role of collaboration in health care construction.

At the Summit, the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) presented its annual Vista Awards, which celebrate teams that bring exceptional health care facilities projects to life. The awards also recognize the teamwork, alignment of priorities, excellent project management and communication skills, and mission-driven focus that enable these projects to succeed.

While a ribbon-cutting ceremony marks a milestone in establishing a health care facility, that moment does not solely define a project’s achievement. Our goal is to design functional spaces that not only promote healing but also stand the test of time, adapting to the evolving needs of clinicians, patients and maintenance staff.

This year’s Vista Award winners have demonstrated that achieving the ambitious goals of an effective physical structure also requires raising the standards of what is contributed to its conception and creation. High-caliber strategies and methods for planning, designing and building health care facilities are vital to those facilities’ long-term viability. Collaboration across disciplines is essential, regardless of scope or financial constraints; teams must dismantle silos between various stages of the process and incorporate the insights of all end users during the design phase.

I trust that the success stories from these facilities will ignite a spark of inspiration within you all. If you are wondering where to start, I recommend exploring the wealth of resources that ASHE has compiled, including The Facilities Manager’s Handbook for Health Care Project Management, The Center for Health Design’s Knowledge Repository and the invaluable insights offered by the ASHE Advisory Board. We are here to serve!