Face time: Randy Gass

Face time: Randy Gass



After working in the hotel industry for a while, Randy Geise turned to healthcare design and was hired in 1997 Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland)-He hasn’t looked back since. Here, he discussed how to apply hotel courses to his work to reduce the clinical sense of the medical environment. He also shared some of the highlights provided by his home city, which will be exhibited when he travels there at the HCD Expo this fall.

What attracted you to a career in healthcare design?

When the hotel industry declined in 1990, I transitioned from hotel facilities, project management, and design. I worked at the Hyatt Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri; Puerto Rico; when a friend at the Eggleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta told me that there was a space planning job there, it and it were in the corporate office in Chicago.

What was your first healthcare project?

Facilities planner for the toilet/shower/bath training room in the inpatient rehabilitation ward of Eggleston.

What design lessons you learned from that project that you still carry with you today?

I was able to use my Hyatt experience to make the space look less clinical by providing upgraded fixtures and finishes, thereby creating an environment more like a hotel than a hospital.

What is one thing people should know about Cleveland?

We own the largest performing arts center (Theater Plaza) in the United States outside of New York City.

Three things on the desk

1 A copy of “As a Unit: The Story of the Cleveland Clinic”.

2 sets of vintage Cleveland clinic postcards.

We now have 3 headsets for all these remote meetings.


What is your hidden talent?

Stand-up comedy. I have participated in the Cleveland Comedy Festival and performed in several local venues,
Even took my show on the way to Las Vegas and London

Outside the office, we will most likely find you

Repair antiques and make furniture, deli boards, and beer and wine cans in my basement woodwork shop. I recently started turning bowls on my woodworking lathe.

Favorite city

Tybee Island, Georgia. This is my family’s favorite holiday destination.

The three healthcare projects you have participated in in the past year and your role

1 Cleveland Clinic London, expected to open in the first quarter of 2022, medical facility planner.

2 Hope Hospital, a temporary COVID-19 surge facility, medical facility planner.

3 Lerner Institute and Institute of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, multiple COVID-19 related projects, medical facility planner.

Dog or cat?

We have a Boston Terrier named Peanut, and my family can’t get enough to eat.

Early risers or night owls?

Morning exercise.I can’t stay up until 10 at night

How did you make your first dollar?

mowing the lawn. In the early 1970s, each lawn was $3.

Favorite quote

“More friendly than necessary, because everyone you meet is fighting some people
A kind of battle. “—JM Barrie.

If you were not a medical institution planner, you would…

During the day, I was a primary school math teacher, and at night, I was a comedian.

You have an irrational fear…

Late to the movie. Our home is too late, and the opening of “Jaws” in 1975 couldn’t get tickets. I have been scarred all my life!

Preferred cocktail?

beer. Cleveland has some great local breweries: Market Garden Brewery, Great Lakes Brewing Co., Fat Head’s Brewery, Platform Beer Co., Sibling Revelry Brewery.


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