January 9, 2020

How a Cancer Diagnosis Evolved Rich Kahn's Perspective on Healthcare Design

We’re proud to share Rich Kahn, Leader and Health Principal in our New York City office, is a guest on the newest episode of Mark Goulston’s My Wakeup Call Podcast.

In the episode, Rich opens up about numerous topics through the lens of his recent cancer diagnosis and how it has evolved his perspective on designing healthcare facilities. He also speaks at length about his passions: his family, his colleagues, architecture and design, and running (especially the miles he logs with his wife).

Through the My Wakeup Call podcast, Dr. Goulston speaks with people who’ve met challenges in life and responded in ways that change their lives and the world around them for the better. Throughout the discussion, Rich infuses his customary optimism and sense of humor to the interview. The full interview can be heard online. Below is an excerpt from the discussion:

Dr. Goulston: Has your experience changed your understanding of patient experience and how architecture can respond to them?

Rich: Absolutely, when you work in healthcare and you walk through spaces as an architect and you’re thinking of designing an emergency department or cancer facility – you inherently think about it one way. And, you absolutely consider patient experience and we’ll often meet with patient groups while designing spaces. When all of a sudden you’re a patient, and you’re in the infusion chair, it’s such a different perspective.

All of a sudden, I recognize I like a certain space better than another, I note something I see in the lighting of a space and think we should do that in a future project. If I’m sitting there and my infusion is done and the machine is beeping – are the medical staff close enough to hear it? I’m constantly experiencing and thinking about how these spaces can work better for patients…this diagnosis isn’t something I’d have ever asked for, but I do look at the positives that come from it. It’s been a learning experience, it’s made me a stronger person.