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The AIA recently elevated Sr. Principal Gary Owens to Fellowship in recognition of his many achievements in healthcare design.

Gary Owens’ work elevates the healthcare experience through facilities that play a vital role in better medical treatment, improved safety, and streamlined service delivery while shifting hospitals’ focus to healing, respite and wellness.

Gary’s work encompasses award-winning and precedent-setting hospitals, cancer treatment centers and intensive care units, as well as ambulatory care facilities. And, in more recent years, Gary has channeled his talent toward creating some of the most efficient-running and nurturing children’s hospitals in the nation.

Previous AIA Fellows, FKP’s Cynthia Walston, Sr. VP and Diane Osan, Chief Visionary Officer, celebrate with Gary and his family at the ceremony in May.

Previous AIA Fellows, FKP’s Cynthia Walston, Sr. VP and Diane Osan, Chief Visionary Officer, celebrate with Gary and his family at the ceremony in May.

Owens is a pioneer in the practice of healthcare architecture.

He is an advocate of patient safety at the forefront of designing “Safe Hospitals,” which incorporate features identified by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to reduce injury, medical errors, or infections while improving care. Often this means rethinking the entire range of medical environments from intensive care, surgery and emergency to patient rooms, labs and nurse’s stations.

He first instituted this strategy on the Children’s Hospital of Orange County in California, one of the first pediatric hospitals to embrace this philosophy, which resulted in measurably improved care and safety. Owens also applies proven Lean methodologies into planning to maximize efficiency in flow of patients, staff and supplies in order to improve treatment and safety. Through prototype room mock-ups and close collaboration with clients, he educates providers and administrators about the important role planning and programming play in the successful operation of their facility. At LeBonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, this strategy accelerated processing and analysis of laboratory tests and, at Golisano Children’s Hospital Emergency Center in Florida, it created a smaller space, and more efficient plan, and shifted care delivery, which increased environmental sustainability and reduced healthcare costs.

Creating New Paradigms for Family-Centered, Healing Spaces

Owens is transforming hospitals from places of last-resort that are tinged with anxiety and trepidation, to ones that are inviting and that express the primary mission of healing and comfort. He has pushed thoughtful planning and uplifting interior designs that have direct bearing on the well-being of the building users to the forefront of the building type. Owens has also developed programs that integrate community participation into the facility, bringing wellness education and preventative care into the hospital and further creating a place dedicated to health instead of focused solely on illness. And finally, Owens has developed modular plans that maximize flexibility without sacrificing comfort or of space, allowing facilities to adapt quickly and easily to changes in treatment or technology.

In summary, Owens is now in the sweet spot of a 30-year career dedicated to understanding how physical surroundings impact healthcare delivery and human healing. He is truly an incredible leader within the profession, and FKP and our clients are fortunate to have his talent to call upon.


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