For decades, I have been deliberately taking time to reflect on the end of one year and the beginning of another. I like to take stocks, appreciate all the challenges and successes brought by the past 12 months, and think deeply about my hopes and goals for the next 12 months. I think this is both cathartic and inspiring.

As we enter 2022, we have gone through an extremely difficult two years, and there is no clear vision for what is about to happen. Victory in 2021, big or small — from the available COVID-19 vaccine to the reunion of the community at the Cleveland Medical Design Expo and Conference in October — gives us reason to be cautiously optimistic and celebrate.

At the Health Design Center, we also have a lot to celebrate. We have expanded our international influence, and people from all over the world have joined our programs and activities. We have established new partnerships to carry out research projects to address modular design and prefabrication in the healthcare sector and design standards for memory care environments. We also hosted 4 virtual seminars and 36 webinars, in addition to two virtual social events, which are just for fun and bring our community together.

In 2022, we will continue to focus on the three pillars of research, education, and publicity through virtual and face-to-face design seminars on behavioral health, aging, infection prevention, and modular/prefabricated buildings. We will also gather as a community at healthcare design and aging environment conferences, and conduct virtual meetings through our Icons and Innovators, Journal Club and Voices online webinar series.

We still have a blank canvas for a part of the year, because we are waiting for opportunities to meetings and dialogues that will inspire new tools and resources to support our industry. These new ideas and cooperation are vital to solving many of the problems and challenges we face.

We must also increase the depth and breadth of our knowledge and skills, and work with others to find the best solutions across disciplines. Thankfully, many of us consider ourselves to be lifelong learners. As we enter the new year, there are many ways to deepen and broaden our contacts and experience.

Some of us go back to school and get additional degrees and certifications, while others study online college-level courses from multiple universities. We can also easily access the insights, ideas, and predictions of some of the smartest people in the world. Two of my favorites, TED talks and master classes, provide surprisingly diverse groups to share their craftsmanship.

Traveling is also my first choice for expanding my knowledge through experience. Study abroad programs, travel adventures through Road Scholars and other organizations, and even watching documentaries can help you get out of your comfort zone, have some fun, and open your heart to unexpected thrills.

Add some new knowledge, experience or skills as a goal for 2022. It will affect your life in many ways. As we end this year, I thank you for your continued support to the center and wish you a happy and healthy new year.

Debra Levin is the President and CEO of the Health Design Center.Her contact information is [email protected].



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