Noelia BitarCannonDesign is a proud sponsor of the Canadian Healthcare Infrastructure Summit, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. The three-day conference included presentations by hospital leaders from across Canada, developers and key architectural firms. Our own Dr. Manuel Hernandez presented a session titled “Protecting Dignity, Enhancing Safety, Eliminating Stigma.”

Dr. Hernandez’s presentation focused on enhancing safety and eliminating the stigma that surrounds mental health issues. He identified that 1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental health issue, and that 1 in 2 people would experience a mental illness by the age of 40. He also explained how mental illness, specifically depression, is higher in our senior population. One of the proposed methods he brought up for eliminating the stigma was the idea of locating medical and behavioral services in the same facility. Dr. Hernandez also highlighted the importance of designers having the firsthand experience of going through the patient journey to completely understand the challenges that need to be overcome. This real-time experience provides designers with an inside perspective that ultimately strengthens their designs.

Another session included a panel discussion on P3 projects, highlighting the risks involved and Canada’s expertise with this delivery model. The conference ended with presentations on the power of key stakeholder engagement, rethinking space to deliver a positive patient experience, and the new CSA wayfinding standard. Attendees were shuffled from table to table each day which made the conference more pleasant, intimate, and allowed people to connect and mingle. It was an informative and exciting conference to attend.