CHSD Academic Master Plan

CHSD Academic Master Plan

Although I think they are asking for 3-5 areas of note from within the college as a whole (sounds a lot like the signature faculty search areas proposed by Gates), here are 5 areas of excellence in our health program suggested in the recent meeting of the CHSD council:

  • Active Living environments
    Developing communities that support an active lifestyle are critical to health maintenance and reduction in obesity. Obesity has been identified as a global epidemic. The physical attributes of such of active living communities range in scale from the provision of appropriate land use relationships (locating retail, educational and institutional amenities within walking distance of residential communities) to providing adequate infrastructure (e.g. well-maintained sidewalks) at the neighborhood level.
    An example of research in this area is Dr. Chanam Lee's and Assistant Professor Xuemei Zhu's work on the impact of the physical environment on walking behavior.

  • Life-span design research
    Life-span design research serves as the organizational theme for generating health design research that addresses the needs of all individuals from infants to seniors. By approaching research from this perspective, research collectives (such as the Fellows at the Center for Health Systems & Design) insure that populations of all ages are included in the research agenda. Examples of life-span design research are the studies of Dr.Mardelle Shepley on perceptual and preference changes across the life span, Dr. Jim Varni's studies on pediatric healthcare environments, and the work of Dr. Susan Rodiek on access to nature by seniors.

  • International/Developing country health environment needs
    Healthcare design research and education is critical to the development of an agenda which addresses global healthcare environment needs. Professor George Mann has focused on this topic in his role as one of the cofounders of GUPHA (Global University Programs in Healthcare Architecture).

  • Evidence-Based design
    Evidence-based design, can be defined as the process which utilizes research evidence to inform the design of buildings. This is a relatively new approach, departing from the traditional design process which emphasized experience and intuition alone. A massive effort is required to translate research principles into building and landscape products. Dr. Roger Ulrich, one of the "fathers" of evidence-based design, has studied a variety of related topics including the impact of single patient rooms on infection, and the impact of positive distraction (art, nature, etc. ) on the healing process. Associate Professor Kirk Hamilton has studied the relationship of evidence-based design of health facilities and measurable organizational performance.

  • Practice-Based Research
    Practice-based research refers to conducting of research as part of professional practice. An example of research in professional practice would be the development of post-occupancy evaluations for building projects completed by a firm.