In Memoria of Joe Parimucha: A Planetree Healing Environments Pioneer
I never had the pleasure of meeting Joe Parimucha in person. However as both a healthcare designer myself in my previous work and during my current tenure as a member of the Planetree organization and liaison to our Planetree Visionary Design Network (PVDN), I was certainly aware of his reputation as a design pioneer and of the many contributions he made to the field of Patient and Resident Centered Design. Any time the design industry loses one of its great talents, there is a perceptible void. This is especially true when that great talent devoted his life and his work to creating designs for environments that facilitate providing patients and continuing care residents both dignity and a sense of control during a time when they often feel their circumstances provide them very little of either. Because I did not know Joe personally, I did not feel as though my attempt to eulogize him would nearly due justice to the legacy he left us. For that I turned to other Planetree Patient Centered Design Pioneers that were willing to share their memories of Joe and thoughts on his passing. – Lisa Platt, MS, EDAC, LEED AT BD+C, Director of Business and Product Development, Planetree
Marc Schweitzer, M.Arch, AIA; Sr. Project Architect, Patient Experience Specialist; Stafford King Wiese Architects; Planetree Visionary Design Network Founding Member and Planetree Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Joe’s life work has been to prove that design can impact human outcomes. My experience is that Joe’s simple presence at any gathering impacted everyone attending. Joe’s charisma and obvious delight in life inspired camaraderie and collaboration among others.
I knew Joe from working together with his wife, Barbara Huelat, on the Planetree Visionary Design Network. At every meeting Joe contributed his insights into both what made an environment healing as well as how to organize our efforts to bring out the very best from everyone involved. Joe spoke quietly but had a great influence on the PVDN’s direction. His carefully considered comments always added depth to the discussion on patient-centered design, but more importantly perhaps, on how we could marshal ourselves to maximize our impact on the practice of healing healthcare design everywhere.
I will miss Joe’s warm and thoughtful presence at these PVDN meetings – and his camera! Joe served as our unofficial documentary photographer. He brought his camera to every meeting and his images show his personal warmth and joy reflected by his subjects. Thanks to Joe we have a visual record of the camaraderie at our gatherings. Without Joe some of the pleasure will be missing from PVDN meetings. But we will strive to make our work a testament to Joe’s belief in design as a tool for health and healing.
Rest in peace, Joe. It is a great pleasure for me to have known you.
Phyllis (Kurtz) Goetz, EDAC, PVDN; Director, Strategic Programs and Services at Herman Miller Healthcare; Planetree Visionary Design Network Founding Member; Planetree International Conference Collaborator and Healing Design Continuing Education Developer
Joe Parimucha was one of the most charming humble men you could ever meet and I know that he is now surrounded by loved ones and at peace. The lives he has impacted both by his work and his life are innumerable and his best friend, his wife, Barbara Huelat, was the love of his lifetime.
I first met Joe when I invited Barbara to join me at a Planetree Conference. She couldn’t make it, but offered to have Joe join me. Little did I know that those days with Joe would begin my love affair with an amazing man and his wife. Joe and Barbara credit me with bringing them back to Planetree. You see, they were involved very early and have always put the patient first in all their design and architectural work, but truly, they have impacted me in so many ways. Joe’s delight in seeing how Planetree had developed and his joy in the great work of serving the patient, family and staff was nothing short of contagious. Joe could always be found with a camera in his hands and a smile on his face and his dedication to his work and to the patients we all serve was paramount in all he did.
The emptiness created by losing Joe will never be filled, although those that he impacted with his passion for a better healthcare environment and creating beautiful spaces will hold his memory dear to our hearts. Joe, you will always be with me and I hope that the work I, and the entire PVDN complete, will honor your memory and serve as a tribute to your beliefs, you will be missed my friend!